Qi (Mia) Zhang

"This programme opens my opportunities to a wide range of professional careers..."

  • Mia Zhang

Master of Applied Finance and Economics

Private Wealth Assistant, Craigs Investment Partners


What inspired you to study your MAFE degree?

Growing up in a major financial city, Chongqing China, there’s a strong presence of international business, which drove my passion for finance, economics, and understanding industry trends. I completed my undergraduate degree at the Shandong University of Science and Technology and then decided on UC for my Master’s.

Why UC?

I first came to UC as a part of my university exchange programme; before I arrived in New Zealand, I was able to meet UC representatives at my home university that helped my decision.

What’s more, UC is the only university in Aotearoa New Zealand that offers a taught master’s programme in Finance and Economics, in a triple-crown accredited business school. This programme opens my opportunities to a wide range of professional careers in banking, the financial and the public sector.

Tell us about your student life.

I spent most of my time studying with my classmates at the postgraduate office. I also took part in a wide range of hobbies including dance performance, microfilm shooting, drawing, and photography.

As an international student, I felt at home here, as there is support from my colleagues, lectures, and additional services like the Academic Skills Centre – they helped me with my academic writing and language skills too.

I was a student mentor at the UC Business School and worked collaboratively with staff to enhance the UC student experience. I really enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge to help other students.

How else have you been involved at UC?

I was the Marketing Associate for the UC Investment Society and I managed the club’s social media to promote networking between students and financial companies.

I also co-founded the Master of Applied Finance and Economics (MAFE) club with my classmate Jeremy and the course coordinator Bob Reed, to give MAFE students a chance to network with alumni and financial companies.

Over the summer, I took part in a competition with the UC Centre of Entrepreneurship to present a business case to grow the New Zealand – Asia relationship. My team and I won the first prize! We are now working with the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the UC School of Business to make our idea a reality!

How did you spend your time outside of university?

I worked part-time and assisted Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) at various industry and career events. I also volunteered as a consultant at the New Zealand Student Consulting Programme providing accounting and financial advice to clients, including Customer Aeronautical Support Ltd (CAS).

I also spent my time playing the piano and completed my Grade 8 certification, and I loved hiking around Christchurch too.

How have you found life in Christchurch?

Christchurch is a quiet and natural place, and I will never forget my time here! I have travelled the South Island in an RV camper van, by myself and with friends. I have been able to settle in quite easily here, but I am still catching up with the Kiwi slang!

What are your plans after graduation?

I want to continue learning and hope to make the world better through my efforts.

Kayla Drummy

Kayla Drummy

'There are lots of great opportunities beyond your degree...'

Megan Hodder

Megan Hodder

'This has been the most valuable experience of my university journey...'