Sophia Menzies

'I am very excited about the possibility of a career in HRM...'

  • Sophia Menzies

Studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Human Resource Management

Having taken advantage of a lot of opportunities in her BCom studies so far, Sophia looks forward to taking her experiences out into the workplace.

‘UC has some really good lecturers in the areas that I’m studying and it provides many opportunities to participate in the student community and make a difference,’ she says. ‘I really enjoy how relevant my degree is and how I am finding ways of applying the knowledge that I am learning to my assignments, my internship and other work areas.’

Sophia found she particularly enjoyed Human Resource Management in her second year, and has since come to appreciate its importance in organisational management.

‘As the business world becomes even more competitive it is essential that the human resources of any organisation are performing at their best. I understand how important people are to an organisation and so I would love to be a part of supporting these people to perform to the best of their abilities in an organisation they love,’ she says.

Taking part in a Human Resources Management internship with PGG Wrightson in the Retail & Water department has allowed Sophia to use her skills in a real workplace. Her project involves surveying all of the company’s department employees across New Zealand on their work satisfaction and wellbeing.

‘From the results collected, I needed to find some key themes to report back to the leadership team about where they should go in the future and the best way they can support their employees to be productive and happy in the workplace. It also involved some research into the best practices of other companies in this area and some academic research to support some of my claims.

‘I am gaining many skills during this process, including better research skills, learning more about professional communication and report writing. It is an amazing opportunity and an experience that will be very valuable for my future endeavours in HR. I have also learnt a lot about myself during this process, about what I am capable of, becoming more confident in myself, and I am very excited about the possibility of a career in HRM when I leave UC.’

Sophia also attributes the support she received from the HR lecturers to being able to go on an exchange to Spain, at the University of Navarra.

‘It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I gained so many valuable skills while studying in Spain and traveling around Europe. I have no hesitation in recommending an overseas exchange to anyone, as it was such an amazing opportunity for myself. Although there were challenging times, it was definitely worth every minute for the experiences I got out of it.’

UC’s community has also been a highlight from her studies. After being inspired by the Commerce department on Open Day, Sophia enrolled with a UC Bright Start Scholarship and spent her first year living at University Hall.

‘I met a great group of friends and flatted with them the following year. It was a perfect first step from moving out of home because I was surrounded by good people and a supportive hall environment.’

She also made a point of getting involved with UCSA O-Week events in her first years, and took part in SVA, UCom and some club dance classes.

‘I love the outdoors and staying active while studying. I often go skiing during the winter and make the most of the group fitness classes that are offered at the gym (Zumba, yoga, spin etc).

‘I have also recently become part of the mentoring programme at UC, as I enjoy supporting other people and this is a great experience to give something back to the university.’

It’s this mentality that Sophia hopes to take into her future HR career.

‘If you enjoy working with people and supporting them in the things that they do, then maybe this is an area that you should consider,’ she says. ‘I want to work in an organisation that I love and feel like I am able to contribute to the wellbeing of people, and become a valuable asset to the company that I am working in.’

Hannah Peterson

Hannah Peterson

'During the internship I gained a real life picture of what working in an organisation is like...'

Kirsten Ragan

Kirsten Ragan

'Being presented with an internship opportunity ultimately led me to my employment...'