Spencer Hayes

'The courses within the BC provide me with an ideal learning environment...'

  • Spencer Hayes

Studying towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication in Communication Strategy and Practice

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‘I found myself thriving in situations where I could express and share ideas with other people. I wanted to find a course that would help me build on this by providing insight into real-world requirements for employees in creative fields,’ says Spencer about his double degree studies.

Combining Law with Communication has given Spencer an insight into legal communication skills and lawful requirements in industry.

‘The LLB is a requirement for prospective lawyers, but also develops a versatile skill set that is sought after by employers,’ he says. ‘The Bachelor of Communication is a broad approach to bettering workplace-required communications skills, while also incorporating courses that distinctly focus on a student’s area of interest. 

‘So far the BC seems to be a mix of discovering practical tools and strategies for the real world with analysing what that world is formed for.  As someone who enjoyed the practical aspects of economics and the wealth of knowledge from history, the courses within the BC provide me with an ideal learning environment where my learning can be assessed as well as meaningfully applied.’

Spencer always had his sights set on UC after finishing high school as a Christchurch local, which was also made easier with a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship for his NCEA results.

‘The UC campus was a major selling point. The fact that UC offers interesting courses while also being positioned in a beautiful part of a city that I love was too good of a point of difference to pass up,’ he says. ‘Being able to sit outside any of the sunny green courtyards during the summer is good for all aspects of your health, which carries over to better academic performance.’

He also found the community at UC to be a key part of supporting his complex double degree studies.

‘Although UC lecturers hold quite a different position to high school teachers during lectures, their availability and willingness to help their students is unprecedented.  Most staff members that I have encountered have open-door policies to assist with anything they can, and may connect with students through other channels, such as “Café Sessions” or online Q&As.’

His first semester in the Communication degree was made easier to navigate with the help of postgraduate student tutors. He advises other students to be open to the new ideas and concepts that come from the degree.

‘The entire reason that I was able to navigate the initial confusion of COMS was thanks to the amazing work put in by the tutors. The great feedback provided by tutors is a great motivating factor to work efficiently and make the most of your time in a more informal learning environment.’

Likewise, during his first year Spencer was also a part of the Law ME! Mentoring programme, where third year students help new students through the beginning of their UC Law journey.

‘Although this programme is academically focused on the Bachelor of Law degree, the wider connection it offers to fellow first years and more experienced students cannot be overstated. After the seeming success of this programme, I would not be surprised if it is added to more degrees.’

Spencer has also been able to meet likeminded students from other areas in UC’s famous clubs community, as well as finding motivation for his newfound hobbies in music and physical activity – including a frequent 40-minute bike ride to-and-from campus.

‘I was told that the club scene at UC was big, which still didn’t prepare me for the enormity of Clubs Day,’ he says. ‘I joined several clubs that were compatible with my degree (such as Lawsoc), in line with my previous interests (Dramasoc) and some that just sounded interesting (Tunesoc)!

‘While some of these clubs I haven’t had as much involvement in as I would have liked to, those that I have had been seriously impressive, both in their professionalism of events put on and their close connection to student life.’ 

Hoping to take his new experiences through to his future career, Spencer aims to use both of his degrees to support others in the industry.

‘I’m hoping that the experiences I have and the people I meet over the course of my degree will help build a career that involves the application both of my predisposed abilities and what I have learned through my coursework.’ 

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