Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Like many people, Anjali Bhatia found growing up stressful at times. As a PhD student in health, she is now taking a closer look at the challenges young people face.
“My PhD research builds on my personal experiences, and is an in-depth study about the experiences and understandings of stress and the role of social support among youth of Indian descent in New Zealand. As part of my master’s degree I studied youth wellbeing and the experience fuelled my desire to explore the challenges faced by ethnic minority youth.
“I hope that my research will raise awareness about the stressors faced by young people and create a supportive environment for them to share their stress and receive the support they require. My goal is to provide a platform for future research on stress among ethnic minority groups and create a mental health policy that caters to culturally diverse people.”
Anjali’s research is supervised by Dr Katie Palmer Du Preez, Associate Professor Rita Krishnamurthi and Associate Professor Camille Nakhid.
A thriving research culture
She decided to study at AUT because it’s a university known for its emphasis on research, says Anjali who came to AUT as an international student from India and hopes to eventually work in academia herself.
“AUT is a research-active university with academic experts in a variety of fields. I’d highly recommend the psychology programmes to other students as AUT is a premium institution that is research-driven and provides students with exposure to their chosen field. I also appreciate that AUT embraces cultural diversity and offers many support groups for international students.”
There’s plenty of support for doctoral students, Anjali says.
“The PhD journey is a rollercoaster ride but the support provided by AUT, particularly the AUT Graduate Research School, is extremely helpful. Meeting people from all walks of life also helps you gain a fresh perspective, and grow and realise your full potential. I’ve enjoyed having a multidisciplinary PhD supervision team that helped me move out of my comfort zone and explore other avenues in my research.”
Advice for other students
Make the most of the university experience, Anjali advises other students.
“Learn and enjoy your time at AUT as much as you can. AUT provides great resources, support, and opportunities for its students in the form of networking events, workshops and support groups.”
Try to keep motivated, she adds.
“It’s very important to give yourself some perks from time to time to keep your motivation high. Balancing all the aspects of your life is extremely important to make sure you don’t get burnout, and can maintain your interest and motivation.”