'The PGDipBIS fitted my vision of the career path I wanted to pursue...'
Delivery Analyst, VizExplorer
With her postgraduate studies and practical work in UC’s Business Information Systems programme, Ada has developed interdisciplinary skills to help advance technological strategies in the business sector.
‘I found the coursework interesting as I never wanted to “choose sides” between business or Information Technology. I believed being at the intersection was my calling and the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Information Systems fitted my vision of the career path I wanted to pursue in the future,’ she says.
Originally from St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation, Ada discovered both the programme and New Zealand fitted well with her new study direction.
‘Christchurch is the place where I learnt to enjoy nature and got really interested in hiking. New Zealand scenery never fails to surprise me and always amazes me how many wonderful sights are all gathered in one country.
‘I found life calm and relaxing. People are friendly and welcoming, and there are quite a few resources available for international students (for example Academic Skills Centre or online library resources on referencing).’
Ada also made a point of developing her skills further outside of the classroom with her involvement in entré, a non-profit UC company giving students entrepreneurship and networking opportunities, and 180 Degrees Consulting, a student consultancy working with local businesses.
‘I was involved in the activities of the entré club, particularly their 48-hour challenges. If you would like to grow your network, get to know more people from different programmes (at times it might feel that you know only your fellow classmates from Master Taught Programmes), have fun and who knows, maybe your idea is so innovative that you can get a price!
‘I took part in two challenges at entré – Sustainability challenge and Marketing Smackdown (my team won the first place in this one). I can recommend both – they were well organised, nicely timed, and you get a chance to get mentorship from professionals in the field.
‘180 Degrees gives an opportunity to work on the real problem of business. Unlike the University project, here you need to define the problem statement, project timeline, and solution in a team, without having pre-defined requirements from your lecturer. There is no wrong or a right way to approach a problem, however, the solution should be helpful to the organisation you are assigned to!
‘It’s a unique chance to make a real-life impact, and don’t worry, you are never left alone with the problem – each team gets mentorship from partner organisations of 180 Degrees that help students throughout their project.’
After graduating, Ada quickly began her career in the industry as a Delivery Analyst for VizExplorer, a software solutions company. Her roles sees her maintaining large databases with data accuracy, updates, and usability for customers. She works alongside other service teams to ensure system performance and quality data.
‘The University emphasised the importance of team working. Throughout my programme, every course included a team project and most of the time it had the strongest influence on the final grade. You draw lessons from both successful projects as well as mistakes and can bring it to practice at the future workplace.
‘As an analyst, you are expected to bring communication skills and be able to communicate with your colleagues. It doesn’t matter if you an entry-level employee or a senior, it is crucial to work well with people (both your immediate colleagues and customers).’
As for the future, Ada intends to keep learning and developing her skills in information systems and business throughout her career.