Julie Sandilands

Julie Sandilands

Co-owner, The Dance Domain & Writers’ Café Auckland
Master of Business in Economics

She enjoyed being able to research a topic of her interest for her master’s degree, says Julie Sandilands who completed a Master of Business in Economics.

“My research was on behavioural economics, specifically looking at how we tell ourselves that we can eat chocolate today because we’re going to be healthy starting from tomorrow, but then don’t actually change our habits when tomorrow arrives.

“I enjoyed my dissertation a lot. Working intensely on a specific topic, while getting feedback and being told to go further by your supervisor, is a unique opportunity to do effective research, which is unlikely to happen in a professional or private setting.”

Julie’s master’s degree research was supervised by Professor Matthew Ryan from the AUT Business School.

Pursuing her passion for economics
She had been interested in economics for a while, says Julie who is one of the owners of The Dance Domain, a ballet school for adults, and the Writers’ Café Auckland, a creative writing centre that helps people write novels.

“I had developed a passion for economics over the years, but my previous study had been in science and engineering management. I’m a senior analyst at the Environmental Protection Authority, working on the Emissions Trading Scheme, and am also an elected member of the Waitematā Local Board. Because my background is in a different field, I felt I should get a qualification that enables me to be an economist.”

Choosing where to study was an easy decision for Julie.

“I live in Auckland, so it needed to be an Auckland university. A key reason why I decided to come to AUT was that I had previously completed a diploma in interpreting and translation at AUT, which means that AUT already had all my enrolment details, which made the whole application process much easier.”

Advice for other students
Julie, who graduated from AUT at the end of 2020, has some great advice for other students.

“If you think you’re going to fail an assignment, do it and hand it in anyway. Don’t be so afraid of receiving a failing grade that you don’t hand in anything. Be brave about failure. It’s a valuable life skill.”

She would highly recommend postgraduate study in economics to other students.

“The Master of Business in Economics was a good programme. I left feeling that I had gained a good overview of standard economics, although I would have loved to spend more time on the non-standard aspects of economics.”

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