Chanya Ussaneerungrueng

'These were experiences that I am very thankful for…'

  • Chanya Ussaneerungrueng

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Master of Business Information Systems

Marketing Lead, Virtual Medical Coaching Ltd


Chanya’s postgraduate studies in Business Information Systems has kept her on the forefront of new technologies, and opened up her career prospects to multiple industries.

‘Businesses and roles are evolving rapidly. Therefore, your “dream” job may not currently exist, or may disappear in the future,’ she says. ‘Business Information Systems teaches you to practice data-driven decision making. This is an essential skill and role to have in every company, and would allow me to keep my options open for career growth in the future.’

One of her first jobs in the industry with software and game developer CerebralFix used customer analytics to assist their decision making process.

‘I was involved heavily in marketing, from analysing data, exploring and experimenting with new channels and campaigns, and creating content. This contributed to the growth of our business in finding the right product-market fit in order to grow and retain users,’ she says.

Now working with Virtual Medical Coaching, which offers simulation training tools such as virtual reality (VR), Chanya has been able to shift between technical and managerial roles.

‘I've found the overall experience quite applicable as well. At UC you are heavily responsible for your own success. Many projects and assignments are open to your own interests so you can decide to research and work on topics of your choosing.’

Being able to receive on-the-job learning with an internship arranged by UC was the ultimate way to gain experience in project research, analysis, and presentation before graduating.

‘They set up a project for me to work at LINC-ED, where I got to conduct interviews to board members and principals of primary schools across New Zealand. From the findings I created user stories and developed a wireframe of a mobile application.’

Another great opportunity was taking part in the MYOB IT Challenge in 2018. Chanya’s team designed a prototype customer information dashboard and presented their idea to a panel of MYOB judges, coming first in the regionals and later placing third overall in the nationals round.

Originally from Thailand, Chanya spent her final year of high school at Timaru before enrolling at UC, with both an International First Year Scholarship and an Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship.

‘I was looking through options of tertiary studies and went to multiple universities' Open Days with my high school friends. University of Canterbury stood out to me as I really liked how the campus had a nature-touch to it. I really enjoy being able to go out for nature walks in New Zealand with my friends.’

Chanya first chose to do a degree in Psychology, which tied in well with her postgraduate Information Systems studies looking at user needs, interactions with products, and marketing psychology. She was eventually invited to the Golden Key International Honour Society for her MBIS study results.

Throughout her time at UC, Chanya held multiple roles supporting UC’s community, describing herself as someone ‘open to all kinds of opportunities’.

She is especially thankful for the flexibility of UC studies to enable her part-time work alongside her degrees.

‘Most of my life in Christchurch was heavily involved around UC,’ she says. ‘Shortly after studying in Christchurch, I ended up working at the University of Canterbury Students’ Association, in the Advocacy and Welfare department. I spent around four years working here through multiple roles (mostly in UCSA Dental) and got to work alongside many lovely people, most of which are now my close friends. Further, I also got the chance to work as a tutor for UC and UC International College. 

‘These were experiences that I am very thankful for as it helped me gained a lot of confidence and skills in my career development. Since graduation, I've continued to hold strong ties with University staff, and work with Christchurch communities on better bridging the gap between the industry and higher education.’

Keeping a healthy study/life balance is key to a fulfilling university experience according to Chanya, and she advises others to seek support from lecturers and classmates when needed.

‘University is an important stage of growth in your life – make the most out of it!’

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