Three of our previous Online Student Representatives from different parts of the world are happy to finally be together on campus.

Raul Penaranda, Kashmira More, and Windy Dharmawan all began their study with us from overseas and all served as Online Student Representatives at various times, assisting fellow online students with their studies.

Raul comes from the Philippines, Kashmira from India, and Windy from Indonesia. Raul and Kashmira were able to travel to New Zealand to join us in person this July and Windy joined us on campus this October.

All three students studied the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Management with us online and have come to New Zealand to complete their Master of Applied Management.

They reflect on their move to New Zealand below.

How has the settling-in process been for you?

Raul: “I've settled in quite smoothly over the past few months. I was able to find work within a week at Sky City and adjust to driving on the left side of the road pretty quick. Coming from the online programme to onshore was challenging at first due to the course load. Learning to balance two assignments forced me to plan ahead to avoid cramming it all in before the deadline.”

Kashmira: “Although the settling-in process was full of surprises, it was an interesting experience for me and my husband. I have met people who were extremely welcoming and helpful. While adapting to a new culture, this process has taught me to be more independent and patient with changes in life. Change is the only thing which is constant, hence I am embracing it with open arms.”

Windy: “It’s challenging, especially when searching for a place to stay, it’s a big decision which needs to be made in a short time. I'm really glad the campus and friends who were already here helped to provide suggestions about the area and explained how things work here, such as electricity, internet, and water – essential processes that I was not familiar with.”

What’s the best part about being in NZ?

​Raul: “Being able to appreciate the outdoors is amazing. I was able to go to Waitawa during the study break and enjoyed the view and the beach with fellow classmates. I also make it a point to jog around the many reserves near my flat. I look forward to exploring the trails around Piha Beach next.”   

Kashmira: “Wherever you are, you can easily reach the ocean! Moreover, the pure air, scenic surroundings, and beautiful architecture are some of the best things in NZ.”

​Windy: “Beautiful places can be reached within minutes, fresh air, very pleasant and supportive people.”

What’s the best thing about campus life?

Raul: “Getting exposed to different cultures on campus is an enlightening experience. It's a good representation of the diversity that can be found in Auckland.​”

Kashmira: “Students get immense support to settle in with their studies along with volunteering opportunities. The events organised provide students with a platform to explore their limits.”

​​Windy: “The Orientation was amazing, I left my little family back in Indonesia but already found myself a big family at the campus.”

I hear you’ve all secured part-time jobs already. Tell us a bit about that.

​Raul: “I wasn't expecting to find work related to what I was doing back in the Philippines so quickly. I figured I wouldn’t get the chance to apply to business consultancy jobs until after I graduated in September 2023, but a classmate inspired me to start looking right away. I found a suitable posting in Student Job Search from a tech company based in Albany and I applied on a Sunday afternoon. I got a call from them on Monday while I was in class and had a video interview with them on Tuesday. I was then asked to make an in-person presentation to their CEO by Friday that week. I got a job offer after that weekend and I'm immensely loving my work now.”

​Kashmira: “During my initial days of settling in, I used to carry a copy of my CV and ended up sharing it in stores I used to visit. I visited a 2degrees store to buy a sim and enquired about part-time positions. Luckily the guy asked me to share my resume. After a month, I got an offer from the 2degrees store. The employability course offered by OPAIC helped a lot, and the campus Employability Team helped me design my CV to NZ standards. I also wasn't shy about asking stores if they need an extra hand. Fortunately, I ended up getting a job in the telco industry.”

Windy: “I got a job offer at the hotel where I stayed (Ascotia Off Queen Hotel). I casually talked with the receptionist and asked if they needed an extra hand. They immediately asked me to send my CV. I'm glad I followed the employability course offered by OPAIC as it really helped me with my CV. Today I signed the contract and got my first training as a receptionist. I celebrated it by having a little picnic at Takapuna Beach with my wife and told all my family. The manager is still looking for more staff – contact me if you’re interested!”

Published on 14 Oct 2022

Orderdate: 14 Oct 2022
Expiry: 14 Oct 2024