Lourdaiz Ah Chong

Lourdaiz Ah Chong

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Business in Finance & Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales

Deciding to study a Bachelor of Business at AUT was easy, says Lourdaiz Ah Chong who is in the final year of his degree, and hopes to have a career in investment banking or private equity once he graduates.

“I wanted to gain more knowledge in my chosen areas of specialisation, learn how to think creatively, solve problems and communicate effectively; all essential skills for my future career. AUT is a leading education provider in the Asia-Pacific region, renowned for research excellence and innovative teaching. There's also a lot more collaborative learning with smaller class sizes and I think it’s the thing that sets AUT apart from other universities. Your lecturers are also accessible in and outside of class.”

Lourdaiz says he appreciates how AUT incorporates employer and business thinking into its education framework.

“You’re immersed in a multifaceted intellectual setting with the goal to train future leaders and thinkers in all fields. There are lots of ways AUT connects with businesspeople, for example through advisory committees made up of industry professionals who look at AUT courses and how AUT graduates are doing.

"The workplace experience, which is a compulsory part of the business degree, also gives students a really good idea of what it's like to apply the knowledge they’ve learnt at university and the skills they have to make a contribution to a business, an enterprise, a profession or a community organisation.”

Life outside of study
In addition to his studies, Lourdaiz has found time for part-time work at the New Zealand-owned investment firm Forsyth Barr within its wealth management division, and as a customer advisor at luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna. He has also just landed a highly sought after summer internship role within the Direct Investments team at NZ Super Fund, which manages $43.8 billion. The Direct Investments team is a global private equity unit and the Guardians' principal investing arm.

He is also an INFINZ Young Finance Professionals ambassador and the chairman of the University Investment Club. What he enjoys most about his role as the chairman of the University Investment Club is being able to offer a great training ground for those with a genuine interest in finance.

“The University Investment Club is a student-run investment society for students. Each semester, the club hosts prominent guest speakers from finance and banking. Past speakers have included fund managers, entrepreneurs and investors. These events are designed to illustrate real-life investment application, as well as economy-wide and business insight.”

An alumnus of Sacred Heart College, Lourdaiz also enjoys giving back to this former school.

“I have the pleasure of being on the Sacred Heart Rugby Committee, serving as the social media manager for the Sacred Heart Rugby Supporters Club and being involved with fundraising. I coach the Sacred Heart 1R (A) team, previously known as 4A, who have won back-to-back grade rugby championships in both 2018 and 2019. Giving back, particularly to a college that has given me so much, is very important to me.”

Advice for other students
Find a degree you enjoy, Lourdaiz advises other students.

“I think the main thing students should do when thinking about going to university is to study something they’re interested in and passionate about rather than something they think will give them a great job. I would also say, the harder you work, the luckier you get.

“Most qualifications will fit you with skills you can move around to all sorts of professions and vocational settings. And of course, you might not want to get a job when you leave university; you might go out, and start your own business or develop your own product.”

Today’s universities need to cater to the changing workplaces, he says.

“University graduates are no longer just doctors, teachers or journalists. They're going to create the new jobs for the new economy, so how do universities help people with entrepreneurial skills who are starting their own business? I think that’s a new emphasis for universities. AUT is doing that already.”