Final-year student, Bachelor of International Hospitality Management
Planning and producing an event at the Auckland Art Gallery was inspiring, says Maggie Ma who came to AUT from China to study hospitality management and will graduate this August.
“In my third year at AUT, the Event Production paper provided me with an opportunity to become an event producer; planning and managing an event together with my classmates. Our event was called ON DISPLAY: Being Human, a collaboration with the Touch Compass performance company, held at the Auckland Art Gallery.
“The experience of planning and producing this event was memorable for me and has motivated to become an event producer in the future. After I graduate, I’m planning to work in the hospitality industry in Hangzhou, China, and become a hotel event planner in future.”
She loves the study environment at AUT, Maggie says.
“I like that AUT doesn’t just focus on students’ academic achievement but also makes sure that students can have useful, practical experiences before they start their career. For me, the most memorable experience was the opportunity to practise my skills in AUT’s on-campus restaurant and kitchen. I also really enjoyed the teamwork with diverse people, as I got to hear different ideas and perspectives that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.”
Transitioning from university to the workplace can be daunting, and Maggie appreciates the support she received to help her with that.
“Before my final-year workplace experience I only had experience in AUT’s restaurant and kitchen, and was a bit terrified about finding an organisation for my workplace experience. Fortunately, AUT provided us with a series of workshops to help us find a satisfying job in New Zealand. The workshops included a CV check, interviewing skills, how to research jobs and how to set goals. I managed to find a great job at SKYCITY and successfully completed my workplace experience there.”
Advice for other students
With graduation just around the corner, Maggie has some great advice for other students.
“My advice for other students is to be courageous in your everyday communication with team members, tutors or your friends; especially if you’re an international student. I understand that living and studying in a strange country can be terrifying, but effective communication will not only help you enjoy university life more but will also be a significant strength for your future career.”
There is plenty of support if you need it, she adds.
“AUT staff and students are very friendly, and they will be happy to help you or show you around if you’re new to Auckland or New Zealand.”