UCMe - Ben - Business, Management, University of Canterbury, NZ
Ben Alder

CHALLENGE

Ben Business

What did you enjoy most about getting your commerce degree at UC?

I enjoyed learning about management, marketing and sustainability. Some of what we learned really opened my eyes. I think New Zealand needs to work towards more socially and environmentally responsible business practices. The degree provided some good hands-on opportunities to investigate ways we might improve.

Favourite aspect of your studies?

I loved working on assignments because they give you a chance to apply critical thinking skills. You’re not simply assessed on how much you can remember, but on your ability to seek out resources and show understanding. I also enjoyed the class discussions and the way our lecturers were open to different ideas.

How would you describe the student experience at UC?

It was nothing like high school where you have cliques and exclusive groups. At UC everyone’s in the same boat. There’s also less of a barrier between teacher and student. You can have great discussions with your lecturers, share a laugh and get to know them on a more personal level.

Did you join any clubs?

Yes, the hiking and climbing clubs. The hiking club was amazing, it really sparked a passion for me. It also introduced me to a lot of international students. I found it a great way to make connections and build lasting friendships because we had all come together around a common interest.

"I’m interested in a few different areas – working in policy or government, starting my own business, or becoming a business advisor."

Any tips on keeping a good work-life balance while studying?

The thing that worked for me was to treat uni like a 9-to-5 job. During the day I’d go to the gym, attend classes and work on my assignments. In the evenings I’d line up something fun or relaxing. That structure enabled me to have a great social life, go to the gym every day, play tennis on the side, work part-time and have my evenings off, all whilst getting A/A+ grades.

What would you personally like to achieve with what you’ve learned?

I’m interested in a few different areas – working in policy or government, starting my own business, or becoming a business advisor with a focus on people and sustainability. I’m passionate about finding ways to improve the system and keen to challenge some of those things that don’t get talked about.