Student Stories: Natalia Uriasheva

Natalia, an international student from Russia, talks about how CDES helped her translate her studies and work experience into a New Zealand context.

"Working towards a masters degree, as an engineer, in a second language is a challenge. Engineers rely on numbers, but in this situation, numbers never show the exact answer! I come from a town in the middle of Russia, and last year was awarded a Government grant that allowed me to pursue postgraduate studies in Urban Planning and Urban Design here in New Zealand.

"When I arrived, it was difficult to work out how my work experience, skills and undergraduate degree aligned with New Zealand practices – as education and professional work systems in my home country are quite different from the ones here. Honestly, I am still looking for some answers, but CDES has been an excellent resource for my research. Luckily I found CDES right at the beginning of my studies here – during O week. Over the past year, I’ve been to workshops and expos, met with career consultants, and participated in the Workplace Insights Programme. To be honest, I don’t know how I would have coped without the CDES team! Their help in translating my undergraduate degree and work experience into a New Zealand context has been invaluable, and they helped me to understand where my skills overlap with those that employers are looking for.

Going to CDES, sorting out your CV and attending expos is a must for an international student looking for an opportunity to get a professional experience in NZ!

"After I had my first casual interview with an employer that didn’t go very well (I practically launched an attack on him with my barrage of questions at an expo!) CDES helped me untangle my experience so I could explain my future goals well. Thanks to that process, I had a very good job interview and felt equally calm and excited. Even though I didn’t end up with the job because I could only work part-time, the interview itself was an invaluable experience and I’m so grateful that my first interview in New Zealand went so well.

"CDES has really helped me on my journey, and their support has eliminated a degree of uncertainty, sparing me the time and effort of researching options on my own."