Apinya Wanothayaroj

Apinya Wanothayaroj

Process Engineer, Rakon
Master of Engineering Project Management

Being able to develop project management skills that are essential for engineering careers is what attracted her to the Master of Engineering Project Management, says Apinya Wanothayaroj who came to AUT as an international student from Thailand.

“I chose to study a Master of Engineering Project Management because I wanted to grow my project management skills to open up more career development opportunities for engineering careers that require a high level of communication skills and an understanding of process design. I’d definitely recommend AUT to others who want to further their project management skills in the engineering area.”

One thing she particularly enjoyed about her studies was how the academic staff encouraged students to use their creativity and imagination.

“I liked how AUT was open to students using their creativity to solve a problem and answer a question. For example, Professor John Tookey asked us what we would do if we’re in a room that’s too hot and humid. How would we bring the air in? Some people may be afraid to answer as they don’t want to get it wrong, but he said that he wanted to see our creativity for how we will solve a problem that has more than one solution. This removed any fears I may have had and helped grow my imagination.”

Choosing AUT
Making the decision to study at AUT was easy, Apinya says.

“I decided to choose AUT partly because the university’s ranking made me feel confident, and I was impressed by the many research projects at AUT and the awards AUT students had received. I had also heard good feedback from my cousin and friends who used to study at AUT. All of this combined inspired me to study at AUT.”

It's a decision she hasn’t regretted.

“I’ve definitely chosen the right university for my studies. I liked that AUT doesn’t just provide really good facilities and a great environment for study, but it also offers really good support and advice for international students. As an international student, it’s not easy to stay alone overseas in a new country, particularly if English is your second language. I found that all the support from my lecturers and the AUT Student Hub made my life and study at AUT run smoothly.

“I enjoyed having the chance to build connections, improve my communication skills and make new friends through the many activities and clubs. The services and activities from AUT’s Employability Lab also supported me in my transition from university to my career, and guided me in many ways.”

Finding career success
Since graduating from AUT in 2019, Apinya is now applying her skills to help global high-tech manufacturer Rakon optimise its production processes.

“As a process engineer, I’m responsible for providing ongoing technical support for Rakon’s production processes including equipment support, process improvement, capacity expansion and documentation. We’re facing different types of challenges each day, and I enjoy working towards optimising the process and minimising any potential delays. It’s also great to be able to constantly upskill and learn about new machines and new processes as part of my job.”

She is proud of how far she has come since first joining Rakon as a graduate engineer several years ago.

“I started here as a graduate engineer and after one year I was promoted to the position of process engineer; a role that offered new responsibilities and challenges. As a former international student now working in New Zealand and using English, which isn’t my first language, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made since first starting here and the growth I’ve made in my career so far.”

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