Master of International Tourism Management student
She has always had a passion for travel, says Peixin Li who came to AUT as an international student from China to study a Master of International Tourism Management.
“I’ve loved travelling since childhood, so after I graduated from high school I moved to Sydney to study abroad. When I finished my bachelor’s degree, I went back to Beijing and worked in administration. Life was peaceful but unchangeable. I then started to ask myself ‘What’s the most passionate thing I want to do?’ and decided that tourism was still my dream field.”
From there, it wasn’t long before she decided that New Zealand would be the ideal place to further her studies and turn her dream of a tourism career into reality.
“I had never been to New Zealand before I started my degree at AUT. Once I decided that I wanted to study in New Zealand, I searched to find out what the best tourism school in New Zealand is, and that’s how I found AUT.”
Exploring innovation in event design
Expecting to complete her Master of International Tourism Management in July 2020, Peixin is currently focusing on her master’s dissertation.
“During my first semester, I found my favourite lecturer, Associate Professor Tomas Pernecky, and I wanted him to be my supervisor. After the first discussions with Tomas, we decided that my research topic would focus on innovation in event design.”
The academic literature published on this topic is currently limited, says Peixin who hopes to work in the event industry once she finishes her studies.
“There’s a lack of conceptual and theoretical models that address the immense range of strategic objectives by event planners. In order to fill this research gap, my research will critically examine existing literature and provide an analytical and conceptual framework to better understand innovation in event studies. My goal is to outline the various factors and processes necessary for innovation in event design, as opposed to creating a universally applicable framework.”
A place to belong
She would highly recommend AUT’s tourism programmes to others, Peixin says.
“The academic staff are approachable and helpful. The papers are interesting and carefully designed. Classes are usually not too big, so everyone has the opportunity to participate. For me, personally, the most difficult task was participating in class, but my professors encouraged me to ask any questions. I gradually became more and more confident in raising my hand and asking or answering questions.”
AUT is very multinational, she says.
“We have academic staff from Europe, Asia and New Zealand. They’re not just born in different countries, but have also worked in so many countries, and can share amazing stories, work experiences and teaching experiences. My classmates are also multicultural and it’s interesting to learn about other countries, which is so important for tourism students.”