Leo Dong

Leo Dong

2nd-year student, Bachelor of Business in Information Systems & International Business and Strategy

He believes university is more than an education, says Leo Dong who is currently completing a Bachelor of Business in Information Systems, and International Business and Strategy.

“My experiences and personal growth at AUT have been memorable, and will stick with me for the rest of my life. I’ve always been passionate about business, and AUT’s Bachelor of Business appealed to me because of its combination of theory, projects, presentations and invaluable workplace experience. AUT is highly acknowledged for its advanced student support services, top business faculty and for being a more practical university, and its facilities are second to none.

“I really enjoy the learning and social aspects of uni. I’m grateful for the routes AUT has opened me up to and the people I’ve met on this journey. The knowledge I’ve gained from studying at AUT has provided me with a strong foundation of skills that will be immensely valuable for whichever pathway I take in the future.”

Now in the second year of his degree, Leo has a pretty good idea how he sees his future.

“I aspire to do meaningful work, to impact society positively. I’d love to work as a business analyst or a project manager, preferably in the tech industry, but my ultimate long-term goal is to run my own business.”

Passion for innovation
Leo has already taken the first steps on his journey to one day manage his own business – together with some of his friends he enrolled in the X Challenge entrepreneurship competition at AUT.

“I truly believed we had a revolutionary idea that would make the agricultural industry more efficient. X Challenge was advertised all over campus and it caught my attention. The X Challenge was a way for us to seek a new opportunity, test our courage and improve on our weaknesses.

“Our idea NeuroX - Autoherd automates the herding process for farmers. In other words, we use drones to chase cows. The Autoherd system deploys a network of two or more drones, each with its own responsibility. The vision drone uses its camera to detect the livestock and feeds this information to our herder drone, which then moves accordingly to herd the livestock into the specified area.”

The team’s idea quickly caught the eye of the X Challenge judges.

“We were selected as a prize winner for The Idea stage of the X Challenge, and then decided to enter our idea into The Accelerator as well. Our project ended up being the runner-up in the X Challenge – The Accelerator. We’re grateful to the judges and AUT for our placing. Most of our team have now relocated overseas for work, but I plan to keep our idea running and hope to showcase it at Fieldays, which can be a great launch platform for cutting-edge technology and innovation.”

Advice for other students
Leo has some great advice for other students who are at the start of their university journey.

“The best advice I can give other students is to set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t over-commit yourself. No one at university is going to judge you, so have the courage to seek out opportunities, network and make new friends. You don’t have to be the best at everything, but if you give it your all, I promise you won’t have any regrets.”

There’s lots of support available to AUT students, he says.

“For me, the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far was adapting to online learning during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Although it was a challenging time, AUT and the academic staff provided the support I needed to overcome this hurdle. AUT offered online peer mentoring, an interactive online helpdesk, and has always been transparent and great at communicating with students.”

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