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Student story

Tanisha Haumu

20 July 2023

Ngāti Raukawa

"I wanted to make the world a better place through efficiency and innovation..."

Certificate in Arts in Te Reo Māori
Bachelor of Commerce in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, and Management
Inventory Coordinator, Mainfreight Ltd Warehouse


After getting a taste of university study through a STAR course in Te Reo Māori, Tanisha knew she would go on to study and do well at UC.

“I saw that I had the most established New Zealand university at my back door,” she says. “I highly recommend STAR to anyone wanting to sample university education and further their knowledge. It gave me a great insight into what my life would be like after high school.”

Alongside further studies in Te Reo, Tanisha also took on a Commerce degree in a number of different subjects, centred on business process and organisation. Her majors tied in well with her fascination in running a company and producing results.

“I’ve always been interested in how things go from nothing to something, the processes surrounding this and how they can be improved,” she says. “I chose my majors so I get an overall picture of the process and could learn more about strategy and innovation in a management context. I wanted to make the world a better place through efficiency and innovation.”

Completing a triple major degree is no small feat, and with these particular subject areas, Tanisha advises other students to “not back down at challenges” and make the most of the experiences offered.

“Most of what you learn is context driven and you have to learn when to and not to use the vast amount of information and tools given to you while studying. You have to really consider the why, and be passionate about your why.”

Tanisha made sure to participate in a number of opportunities that came her way, with her favourite aspect of UC being the “overall drive and motivation of students and faculty”.

She joined the 180 Degrees Consulting Canterbury branch, which supports local businesses with projects that boost their impact on the community. “I thoroughly enjoyed being able to help a community group progress as an organisation, and recommend it to anyone wanting to test their skills while making a difference with likeminded individuals,” she says.

Tanisha also participated in the SDS Case Study Competition, which involves groups of students from New Zealand universities competing to come up with an innovative solution to a business case. The competition has three rounds, with the final round seeing students competing against international teams in Queenstown.

“It was absolutely awesome and was the cherry on top of my time at UC - the knowledge I gained, the friends I made both nationally and internationally were amazing! Working with some of the biggest businesses in NZ is definitely scary, but definitely worth it for anyone up to the challenge! Highly, highly recommend getting involved!”

On top of this, Tanisha decided to gain practical experience with a managing job at Spice Paragon outside of study.

“I often worked 30+ hours while studying, and for one year studied part-time while working 50+ hours, however you do it Uni is worth it! Nothing I learnt working compares to what I got out of my studies, it just gave me a continuous real life context to apply my knowledge to and ponder about.”

After connecting with Mainfreight through a Careers Fair on campus, Tanisha now works as an Account Champion for one of their key clients, managing inventory planning and dispatch. It is a role that sees her work with rigorous process and demand, which utilises a lot of the abilities she had picked up while at UC.

“I enjoy playing with the big toys, seeing the behind the scenes of transport and logistics, and learning about all the various forms of third party logistics.

“My studies helped me better understand the overall picture and why my job is important as part of the process. It has taught me time management, organisation, efficiency and accuracy are key, as well as adaptability and forward thinking in the supply chain context.”

Tanisha has big plans for her future career path, which will build a lot more on her current experiences in management and develop her skills further into vital roles in business process.

“I would like to progress into an operations or branch managers role, and would be very interested in spending time in IT or Training and Development (or both!). After that I’d like to be a National Manager or even CEO!”

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