'I had the chance to gather all my academic knowledge to apply in real case studies...'
Risk Analyst, Spark NZ
Using her new skills gained from the Master of Applied Finance and Economics (MAFE) in her role as a Risk Analyst, Linh is grateful for the opportunities she had through UC.
‘Coming to New Zealand to study was the best decision I had ever made,’ she says. ‘The unexpected side effect was I became more open and flexible; open to new challenges and flexible in finding resolutions. My current job is very unique, since every day is different, which constantly requires me to resolve and overcome. I’m happy that I have the positivity to deal with them.’
After completing Economics studies and working in one of the biggest banks in Vietnam, Linh became inspired by the financial sector and the forecasting and analysis side of banking. She decided to change career directions so she could follow both interests.
‘When I knew about the MAFE programme at the University of Canterbury, I thought it was perfect for me because the programme was a mixture between Economics and Finance, where I could utilise my base knowledge and learn more about Finance.
‘I would say the MAFE programme is designed for everyone, as long as you are keen to learn and you have basic knowledge about either Economics or Finance, because you will have a chance to get yourself both reminded of and familiarised with all concepts useful later on during the course.’
She found the multiple opportunities for applying knowledge to real-world scenarios the most useful part of the programme. Linh recalls the initial challenge of carrying out case studies, but found support in fellow classmates and eventually grew confident in her work.
‘I definitely liked the capstone course best. During just one month, I had a chance to gather all my academic knowledge to apply in real case studies. Moreover, I got to learn how to use the Bloomberg platform, how to work in a group effectively, how to prepare myself for a debate or negotiation, and a lot more.’
Linh also considers herself lucky to have studied her degree the first year the UC Business School Trading Room opened at UC.
‘As a requirement of the curriculum, we had to practice how to make full use of it and get the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) Certificate of Completion. I was proud to be one of the students to demonstrate a simulation in the trading room to the former Prime Minister Sir John Key.’
With all the support she gained from classmates and lecturers throughout the programme, Linh says she felt especially welcome as an international postgraduate student at UC.
‘Life at UC was amazing to me. I felt I belonged. There were a lot of international students around, yet there was not any discrimination between domestic and international students. My classmates and I got along well, they were sociable, funny, and helpful to me. Professors were always available to tutor or give advice. I was also able to find a part-time job to get to understand life outside university. My employer treated me equally well.’
Shortly after graduating Linh gained a role as an Operational Analyst with Vector Limited, the largest provider of electricity and gas distribution in New Zealand, before gaining her current role with Spark NZ as a Risk Analyst.
‘I plan on becoming a senior analyst who knows how to extract useful information from a pool of data that can help to make better decisions; ultimately, a manager who can not only use information to make decisions, but also delegate resources to bring about good results,’ she says.