Ghizlane Chebitou

Ghizlane Chebitou

Master of Professional Accounting student
Bachelor of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The world is using business concepts in everything we buy, sell, use, see and taste, says Ghizlane Chebitou who came to AUT as an international student from Morocco to study a Bachelor of Business, followed by a Master of Professional Accounting.

“No matter how countries like to define themselves – democratic, monarchical, communist, ecologist – we’re first and foremost connected through capitalism. Understanding the foundation of business is an important tool in our survival kit.

“I was also drawn to studying business because I want to build my own business from scratch one day. Studying business just seemed like a no brainer to me.”

While business was an obvious choice for her, deciding to travel all the way to New Zealand for university was a bit more surprising. But Ghizlane says it was a match made in heaven.

“I remember watching a rugby championship against France in 2015. At that point, I knew nothing of New Zealand but just couldn’t forget the way the All Blacks played. A few weeks later, I finalised my papers for my visa and AUT had accepted my application. I believe I chose New Zealand and AUT chose me.”

Returning for postgraduate study
As much as she enjoyed her Bachelor of Business, by the end of it Ghizlane still wasn’t entirely sure what to do next. Enrolling in postgraduate study made sense to help her decide on her next step.

“I knew that studying broad subjects like entrepreneurship and management is great if you have a business idea to implement during or after graduation, but I didn’t have a specific business plan at the time. So I decided to go for a more specialised master’s degree. Learning accounting is akin to holding the organs of a company in your hands, and becoming an accountant is an empowering job.

“Graduating with my undergraduate degree made me want to do it all again and be a more active student this time, being more appreciative of all the tools, discounts and resources the university gives freely to students. I think as a postgraduate student I’ve had a better appreciation for my courses and the opportunities for students.”

In addition to her studies, Ghizlane is certainly making the most of university life and has been active in a range of programmes and activities.

“I’m a student ambassador and part of the Buddy Programme where I advise 11 new postgraduate students. I’m the co-leader and co-organiser of TEDxAUT, and an all-year round volunteer at TEDxAuckland. I was the president of the Accounting Club, and am managing partnerships and sponsorships for the Food Club at AUT. I was chosen to be part of AUT’s marketing campaign this year. Last year, I also won the Ideas stage of the X Challenge entrepreneurship competition, and turned that idea into an app, which I’m ready to beta test with the restaurants around AUT.”

Advice for other students
Expecting to complete her master’s degree later this year, Ghizlane has some great advice for other students thinking about postgraduate study.

“Ask yourself why you want to further your studies. If the answer is weak even to yourself, then look for a stronger why, or wait until your why becomes strong enough to push in the hardest of times. I’ve seen friends start and never finish due to COVID-19 or other circumstances. My advice is to make sure you have a ‘why’ that can lead you to the finish line.”

She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s business programmes to other students.

“Business programmes are never a waste as they give you a glimpse of our everchanging future through thorough knowledge of our past. You can only do yourself good by attempting a business programme, but this really applies to any programme AUT offers. They’re all exciting and I can’t wait to make enough money to just keep on learning and do further study.”

Entrepreneurship and Innovation is now a key part of the overall Bachelor of Business; it is no longer offered as a standalone major.