Master of Arts in Social Sciences student
AUT's unique offering of social sciences papers and its strong international reputation are what attracted him to AUT, says Segfrey Gonzales who is studying a Master of Arts in Social Sciences.
"I initially chose AUT because it offered the programme that would be most relevant and helpful to my career aspirations as a researcher. The more research into AUT I did, the more I could see this was the right place for my postgraduate study.
"AUT has emerged as one of the most prominent universities in New Zealand; an indication of the university’s excellent work and effort in remaining relevant and progressive. I also liked the fact that AUT is the most international university in the country. I felt assured that AUT would promote a positive learning environment for me," says Segfrey who came to AUT as an international student from the Philippines.
Making a positive difference
For Segfrey, the master’s thesis is an opportunity to make a positive difference to his country through research.
"My research project explores economic factors that influence the intensity of insurgent activity in the Philippines using statistical analysis. To supplement the quantitative findings with in-depth narratives, I will also conduct case studies as part of my research.
"As a New Zealand Aid scholar, I’m thankful to the New Zealand Government and AUT for empowering me to make a positive difference in my country through this research."
His research provides him with the opportunity and responsibility to enrich the discourse on economic development as a potential solution to the enduring internal security problem in his country, Segfrey says.
His first few months at AUT had some challenges, he admits.
"Given my programme’s emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to research, some papers proved to be quite challenging but also very enlightening for me who had virtually no background in fields other than political science and economics."
He noticed great improvements in his writing, thanks to the university training courses and very competent and supportive faculty and staff.
"I’m now confident in taking on my research topic, especially since I have Dr Kate Nicholls and Dr Erik Landhuis in my supervision team. I’m also working with Dr Nicholls on her research project, which examines the impacts of the 2010 Auckland Amalgamation and 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquakes to local democracy and public participation in New Zealand."
As a high-achieving student, Segfrey offers some advice to his fellow students.
"AUT does excellent work in providing the right people, facilities, resources, and support. You just have to bring in the right attitude as a student. Know and take advantage of all the resources and support that are available to you. Do not hesitate to engage and ask help from your lecturers. Surround yourself with an equally driven group of friends."
Last updated: 17-Jul-2017 2.49pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.