Guochao (Oliver) Zhao

Guochao (Oliver) Zhao

Bachelor of International Tourism Management in Travel Management

Travel has always been his passion, says Guochao (Oliver) Zhao who studied a Bachelor of International Tourism Management in Travel Management with a minor in Business Management.

“I love seeing different areas, experiencing different cultures and meeting people from all over the world. I was initially studying pharmacy at another university, but realised this wasn’t what I wanted in my future. That’s why I decided to go with the Bachelor of International Tourism Management to learn about the things I’m really interested in.

“After I had started my new journey at AUT, I instantly fell in love with this great organisation. The staff are always really helpful and friendly, and I love that the degree is very career oriented and that AUT is very multicultural.”

Experiencing life in Canada
One of the highlights of Oliver’s studies was going on a student exchange to Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

“I knew that I could go on a student exchange as part of my AUT degree, so I had a look which partner universities I could go to for my exchange. I highly recommend going on a student exchange. While it can be a challenge and does cost a bit of money, it’s totally worth it.”

You learn and experience a lot while you’re on a student exchange, Oliver says.

“From my student exchange, I learned about different business patterns and got to experience a different culture. My time in Canada also made me more independent and confident. I made friends from all over the world and we had a great time together, sharing our different cultures and values, and travelling together.”

Preparation and motivation
Oliver recommends the tourism degree to people who love travel.

“By studying tourism you extend your hobby to a broader scale. This programme can give you lots of ideas about travel from a business perspective, and can also open a lot of doors for your future career.”

He loved everything he’s been doing and learning at AUT, says Oliver who was offered a job at the Flight Centre after he graduated. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is currently working as a retail manager for the Chemist Warehouse but he’s looking forward to working in tourism again in the future.

“I chose each paper I studied at AUT carefully because I wanted to make sure they can help me with my career in the future. I did some tourism-related accounting, marketing and law papers, and I loved how each paper not only focuses on the theory but also comes with lots of real examples, and often includes guest speakers from different organisations. I found this really helpful and it was a great motivation.”

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