Xuan (Jade) Chen
'The student-oriented resources offered by UC are my favourite part...'
While Jade earned her Master’s degree, she took full advantage of what UC had to offer, including the self and group study areas, the modern business school buildings, and the ‘open green spaces with great natural landscapes (especially the cherry blossoms, roses, azalea, and camellia!)’, she says.
Jade also sought out and received support from multiple departments, such as UCSA, Student Service Centre, Academic Centre, Student Care, Career Hub, and the Health Centre. These services helped improve her reading, researching, and writing skills, along with using Google Academic, UC library resources, reference tools, and time management practices. Jade attended workshops, on-site working place visits, individual consultant sessions, and career events.
‘I used their online career support systems for preparing interviews, CV’s, and cover letters, which helped me get my internship with ChristchurchNZ and work at Carl’s Junior,’ she says. ‘The student-oriented resources offered by UC are my favourite part. This includes all the support, facilities, networks, and academic support. This is a great combination which helps international students grow and succeed.’
As such, Jade quickly learned to manoeuvre academia and to make the best out of trying situations, including working at Carl’s Jr.
‘It was quite challenging for me to take the drive-thru orders at the beginning, as English was my second language. I needed to serve people of different ages with various kinds of accents and expressions. However, given chances to practice, my listening skills greatly improved. This made me much more confident in English. Seeing the improvement and being recognised by customers, employers, and other staff motivated me for my future career.’
Jade hopes to become a Business Consultant expert. She decided on the Master of Business Information Systems (MBIS) degree because it offered a pathway to the ICT industry without any previous IT background.
Jade had worked as a teacher and an Education Consultant before studying at UC, and many of her classmates also had differing working backgrounds.
‘This provided an excellent opportunity to share and learn from each other and build future career connections in the IT industry.’
It was also an opportunity to share courses with students from alternate programmes like the Master of Applied Data Science.
‘We met lots of students from different countries which was a helpful experience for enhancing cross-culture communication and teamwork skills.’
While studying, Jade earned an internship with a work-ready programme at ChristchurchNZ as a Marketing Assistant.
‘From this experience, I learned how local people and city council support the growth and the rebuild of the central cities by attracting businesses and tourists. I can see how New Zealand people value their communities,’ she says.
Jade also helped develop a Chinese-directory handbook which consisted of educational-tourism products provided by local tourism providers, and campus-educational products provided by local schools. The many meetings and discussions greatly enhanced Jade’s translation and interpretations skills.
Jade also participated in many of UC’s student clubs and took every opportunity to get out into nature.
‘The unique, superb, fantastic and natural views are incredibly attractive to me. I grew up and lived in a very packed and busy modern Chinese metropolis – Shenzhen. I love the outdoors of Christchurch. The Avon River is such a beautiful place to kayak and row! This is where I enjoy clean and glimmering water with breath-taking riverbank views throughout the year. I also love sharing the water with ducks, birds, and swans! Christchurch is also great for a walk or a hike. There are lots of beautiful tracks along the coast, in the bush, or woods and through the mountains.
‘I also unlocked my limits by skydiving, hiking, and horse-tramping in the forest, rivers, and glaciers, alpine-skiing, sea kayaking, star-gazing, jet boating, and becoming a shooting and rowing champion. I was surprised by what I have explored so far.’
Jade is currently working for UC Business and Law Schools as an Internationalisation Project Assistant. Her focus has included organising internationalisation events and helping implement remote enrolment and learning for COVID-19 impacted students.