'After each lecture you go away thinking “Wow, that was so interesting!”...'
Bachelor of Health Sciences in Public Health
Policy Analyst, Ministry for Primary Industries | Manatū Ahu Matua
The launch of the Bachelor of Health Sciences at UC was an opportunity Victoria seized upon without hesitation.
‘I wanted to work in healthcare but not in a clinical way,’ she says. ‘I was hoping to work in hospital administration, and running departments in healthcare organisations and working with health policies.’
Getting an early taste from the Communications Disorders programme cemented the new direction she wanted her career to go.
‘I was studying a health paper and I really enjoyed learning about the many issues in the field of health, and how we should be addressing them, so I switched to the BHSc.
‘There are many different paths that you can go down, and the good thing about the BHSc at UC is that it has a wide variety of courses, which allows you to keep your options open and learn about lots of different areas.’
Victoria says the content of the degree was very stimulating and made her motivation even stronger.
‘It encourages you to think critically about what is being said. I enjoy that there is a lot of thought involved, and after each lecture you go away thinking “Wow, that was so interesting!” There is not one lecture I sit through bored.
‘The lecturers are incredibly helpful, and more than happy to talk after class about any further questions that you may have. The lecturers are one of the things that have made the degree so enjoyable.
Having grown up in Christchurch, Victoria has a naturally strong sense of home and community in Canterbury, but she nonetheless enjoyed the new experience of being a student at UC.
‘It’s a great campus and I met some really lovely new people,’ she says. ‘I like to go on road trips, long runs and walks in my spare time. I also tend to do a lot of baking and cooking for my family and friends.’
Victoria began her career after graduating as a Case Coordinator with ACC, helping those with injury claims return to everyday routines.
Following her years with ACC, Victoria moved to Wellington and now works with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on biosecurity policy.
Her role works closely with internal and external organisations, creating research reports on identifiable issues, advice, and recommendations to Ministers and senior management.
‘I believe a policy career provides a great avenue for people who are interested in continuous learning and contributing to meaningful work,’ she says. ‘My degree in Health Sciences has helped encourage a holistic mindset – thinking about contributing factors and ethical issues and impacts.’
With health still a strong passion of hers, Victoria encourages other students to recognise how their degree can apply to a wide range of career paths.
‘I think it’s important to remember that your degree has an application outside the field of which you study. Diversity in backgrounds and perspectives provides a lot of value to project work. The Health Sciences degree has provided me with a strong foundation for critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills (especially written), and collaborative project work.’