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Student story

Karina Siti

20 July 2023

"I have an aspiration to build my own business..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Operations and Supply Chain Management

Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Karina chose to study in New Zealand based on the country’s scenery, security, and diversity. 

"New Zealand has the best scenery and is one of the safest countries in the world," she says. "Furthermore, I want to meet new people from different countries with different backgrounds."

Karina began her study journey at the  UC International College (UCIC), the pathway provider for the University of Canterbury. 

"I took the University Transfer Programme from UCIC for my first year. It helped me a lot as I was still adapting with university life since I was living by myself away from home. It felt good to have friends that were doing the same thing as me."

After a year of study at UCIC, Karina successfully transferred to UC to pursue the Bachelor of Commerce. 

"I chose the BCom degree at UC because I have an aspiration to build my own business. UC is also one of the best universities in New Zealand and is renowned for its Commerce degree. 

"I have found that the lecturers are approachable and UC has many modern buildings and facilities that are available 24 hours to study anytime.’ 

Karina advises future students considering a BCom to explore options beyond the walls of the lecture room. 

"Be ready to find experiences outside of your study. I highly recommend joining UC clubs, internships, and even undertaking part-time jobs. All extracurricular activities will add value to your CV every year.

"I did a part-time work in hospitality, I used to be a wait staff at an Indian restaurant. I learned a lot of new skills – such as the operational processes that the restaurant applied which complemented the study of my major in operational supply chain management. I also observed how to solve day-to-day business problems, learn HR practices, as well as improve my customer service skills."  

A day in the life of Karina is an eventful one. As an executive member of the Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association (CMSA), she is responsible for organising major events for one of the biggest clubs on campus.  

"Although it is a Malaysian club and I’m Indonesian, my colleagues are so lovely, they are like my new family now," she says. "I joined the club because I’ve liked to run events since I was in high school, so I wanted to have the experiences of running events at UC while improving my CV."

During her second year she was also a member of 180 Degrees Consulting – an on-campus activity which provides innovative business solutions for social and non-profit organisations. 

"At 180 Degrees Consulting I got an opportunity to be directly involved with real companies from Christchurch and Auckland, one of these companies being PwC. 

"During my duty as a consultant, I was working in a team and we helped a non-profit organisation to plan their upcoming event. At the end of the semester, we had to give them a proposal and a presentation about our plans and recommendations in front of all the companies that are involved with 180 Degrees Consulting. 

"It was a good opportunity for me to network with professionals and also meet new friends from a different major." 

As an international student, Karina believes she has assimilated well into New Zealand and enjoys the Christchurch lifestyle through her widespread experiences.  

"Christchurch is the perfect place for international students, especially for people who come from a big city since there are no major distractions," she says. 

"During my first 5 months I stayed at a homestay with a young couple who were from India and Christchurch, it was a really amazing experience as I learned a lot about the country and the people. They also helped me improve my communication skills. I am still in touch with them even after moving out and consider them family. 

"I’ve been in Christchurch for two years now and I am currently flatting – it’s given me the opportunity to meet new friends from around the globe, so sometimes we get to share our traditional food!

"Earlier this year, I was also able to volunteer for the Muslim Community in Christchurch to provide support and food relief, it was a rewarding experience as I got to connect with other Muslims in Christchurch.

"I also highly recommend traveling during the summer holidays to learn about the country – summer is the best time to travel around New Zealand! 

"What’s more, as an international student, I have found that UC staff really cares about the well-being of international students and nurtures diversity."  

After the completion of her degree, Karina intends to explore work opportunities in New Zealand before following her dream to kick-start her own business.  

"I want to work in New Zealand for at least a year and learn about how New Zealand companies function.  After that, I will decide on whether to continue to higher study in another country or build my own business in Christchurch." 

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