Business masters students find home away from home in Aotearoa

For two international students, the University of Auckland offered the chance to find their feet in a new country with exciting opportunities.

Ana Maria Puerta

Despite never having been to New Zealand before, University of Auckland alumna Ana Maria Puerta knew it would be the place for her.

When it came time to explore her options for further study, the Colombian native was immediately drawn to New Zealand.

“I was trying to find that place where I would feel comfortable and that would align with my values and my lifestyle,” says Ana.

“Seeing how friendly everyone is here, the beautiful natural spaces and the fact that it isn’t overcrowded – that really attracted me to this country.”

With her sights set on pursuing her passion for international business, Ana knew that the University’s Business School – with its Triple Crown accreditation and globally competitive subject rankings – would be the right fit for her masters studies. Being awarded two scholarships (from the Hinrich Foundation as well as the University’s International Business Masters Scholarship) was the cherry on top for the diligent student.

During the programme, she loved the experience of undertaking a consultancy project for a real New Zealand business and getting to learn alongside a diverse cohort.

The other highlight for Ana was the support system the University was able to provide, which made the transition to her new life in New Zealand much easier.

People are always available for you, so if you need something at any point, you can just ask and they’ll help you or point you in the right direction. That kind of thing is very, very important for people like me who are alone in a new country – feeling that kind of support really makes the difference.

Ana Maria Puerta

Chelsea Abcede

New student Chelsea Abcede, who originally hails from the Philippines, felt a similar pull to New Zealand right from the start.

“When I did my research on the University of Auckland and New Zealand, I knew this was an environment that I wanted to grow in and where I saw myself thriving. I felt that I belonged here, even if I hadn’t been here before,” she says.

After arriving here earlier this year to take up the Master of Management programme, Chelsea knew her instincts had been right.

“I knew it was going to be worthwhile, especially seeing the diversity in my classes and the faculty as well. Everyone has different approaches and different backgrounds, which broadens your knowledge and helps you learn from everyone’s experiences. We’re all close, we enjoy each other’s company and really try to help each other.”

As a fellow scholarship recipient, Chelsea says this is the “driving force” behind her studies, motivating her to excel. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and looks forward to exploring her specialisation in International Business.

It’s about growing with fulfilment. For international students like me, it’s important to put yourself out there, get involved and make every experience a learning opportunity.

Chelsea Abcede