'The Translation and French courses I picked looked exciting and stimulating...'
Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in French
Customer Support Consultant, Instra Corporation, Hawke's Bay
‘Living among different cultures enables you to be an open-minded and tolerant individual,’ Lily states. She is certainly qualified to say so, having lived in her home city Hong Kong, Viet Nam and Cambodia before moving to New Zealand in 2010 to pursue her tertiary studies, and hopefully settle permanently, eventually obtaining a residency visa and following the lengthy process to become a New Zealand citizen.
After graduating with a BA in French and Spanish, Lily's last year at UC was in 2014, studying and obtaining her BA (Hons) in French, under the supervision of Sylvie Gagnon and Peter Low: 'I couldn't have asked for better supervisors than Sylvie and Peter - I would highly recommend them to anyone, regardless of their level of study.
‘I chose to study a BA(Hons) in French because the Translation and French courses looked exciting, stimulating and of course, I studied what I enjoy! I decided to stay at UC because it offered another course very close to my heart the University of Victoria didn’t have. I’d always been a student at UC, even through the earthquakes, so I did and still do feel a certain loyalty and familiarity. My two supervisors had previously taught me, which was an important contributing factor as well.’
Lily enjoyed her time at her alma mater and was recognized for her hard work by accepting an invitation to join the Golden Key International Honour Society, an organisation recognised globally that rewards high-achieving students. ‘It’s nice to have your efforts officially recognised by an authority that doesn’t properly know you,’ she says.
Within a few months of becoming a UC alumni, Lily succeeded in finding a position at Instra Corporation, a company that sells domain names, also known as internet addresses – one of the many perks of her job is using her near-native fluency in the French language and advanced level of Spanish to communicate with customers.
'I still feel extremely fortunate and extremely grateful to have Instra as my employer: my manager is the best one I could ever ask for and I have great relationships with my colleagues. As a result, my personal growth has benefited enormously from such a fantastic working environment.' Lily explains, 'People may think being a customer support consultant is “boring”, but I have never not wanted to go to work and every day is different because of the customers.'
Instra Corporation have not only assisted her professionally, they continue to fully support her throughout her difficult immigration process: 'I’m still overwhelmed by the complete investment Instra has in me which is magnified by the fact I love my job.'
Lily is aware her 'life story' sounds like a dream come true, but she doesn't see it that way at all.
'My fantastic family brought me up to believe in myself and have always said I could do anything I wanted as long as I put in the effort. They have always been behind me in everything I do. With that as a foundation stone and that as one of my life philosophies, I’ve worked hard to get my BA and BA(Hons) to the standards I set myself - they’re simply a reflection of my efforts. The Golden Key invitation was the icing on top. I'm living the life I want and have absolutely no regrets. If asked, my advice would be to think through everything thrown at you, don’t forget to listen to your gut and go for it.
‘As for Instra, their faith in me has never wavered and that has been priceless. I value the relationships with the colleagues I work with as they are very solid, very direct and very honest. Anyone who works here becomes part of the family. I think I've proven myself to the company and hope to stay for as long as I want, but I don’t take anything for granted!'