Technology Risk Analyst, Southern Cross Health Society
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Economics with First-Class Honours
Bachelor of Business in Economics & Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Software Development
His passion for economics was sparked in the first year of studying at AUT, says Kiran Chandradevan who completed a Bachelor of Business in Economics, Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Software Development and a Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Economics.
“Initially, I chose to study business to major in accounting as I thought it was a field that would land me a good career. But the course Economic Principles 1 with Dr Pik Yi Lydia Cheung changed that. The course ignited a passion for economics that I didn’t know I had. From there I followed economics through to postgraduate study.
“Some of the highlights for me were co-leading the AUT Economics Society for a year and being a teaching assistant for first-year economics courses. That was a very rewarding experience, and I had a lot of fun teaching. I also really liked the capstone project in the final year of my Bachelor of Business. We used extensive data from the NZX50 to create a predictive investment algorithm. I’m also proud of being asked to join the academic honours society Beta Gamma Sigma.”
Kiran says he had always planned to start his career after finishing his undergraduate degrees – but then Professor Gail Pacheco offered him the chance to take on a research project he couldn’t refuse.
“I was close to finishing my undergraduate degree and already had a job offer waiting for me. Then Professor Gail Pacheco messaged me about a research topic she had. I went into that meeting expecting to not take it, but I changed my mind when I heard that the topic was youth mental health and finding a cost-effective way of screening and identifying depression in youth. It was such a unique topic and really resonated with me. I turned down the job offer I had and came back to AUT to do my Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Economics.”
A rewarding career
After completing his studies at the end of 2020, Kiran now works as a technology risk analyst for the Southern Cross Health Society. He is proud of being headhunted for the role.
“I love the culture at Southern Cross, and I think they have some amazing people here. I enjoy that every day at work is different, and I’m given the autonomy to make decisions and take charge of my work. I enjoy providing a risk perspective to projects because it’s not something most people consider. I also interact with many businesses externally as part of my work, and it’s great getting to interact with lots of different people.”
In his career now he frequently draws on the skills he developed through his honours degree.
“Postgraduate study really got me to pay attention to the details and to follow a methodical process to problem solving. That has been helpful when dealing with problems at work. Taking a step-by-step approach helps me better articulate to others the situation and any possible solutions.”
Advice for other students
Take every opportunity that comes your way, Kiran advises other students.
“Somehow whatever I thought I was going to do never ended up happening. I never imagined doing economics. I never imagined doing postgraduate study. I never imagined I’d be a teaching assistant. I never imagined doing technology risk. But these things all happened, and I’m happy they happened. None of those things happened without someone presenting that opportunity to me. That’s why my advice is to at least try everything thrown at you.”
His other piece of advice is to get to know your lecturers and your classmates.
“Your lecturers are an incredible source of knowledge for much more than just study content. You should also get to know your fellow students. The New Zealand job market is quite small, so chances are that you’ll run into each other again after graduation and it’s always nice to see a familiar face.”