Sarisha Claassen

Sarisha Claassen

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Business in Management and Marketing

Throughout high school, her favourite subject was business, says Sarisha Claassen who is currently completing a Bachelor of Business in Management and Marketing.

“What I liked about studying business in school was that we got to create our own products, do all the work behind the scenes, and set up markets at school and in local shopping centres. I knew right away that this was what I was wanting to do as I loved all aspects and how creative and successful you can be in business.

"My business teacher knew that I wanted to study business at university and asked if I was interested in taking part in AUT’s Shadow a Leader programme in 2019. I then signed up and got accepted into the programme. I already had my mind somewhat set on attending AUT, and being able to visit AUT and knowing that they support students with cool events like this definitely helped me make my decision.”

But this wasn’t Sarisha’s only opportunity to network with a business leader; two years later she once again took part in Shadow a Leader.

“In 2021, I had the opportunity to shadow Sarah Wood, the CEO of realestate.co.nz and an AUT alumna herself. It was awesome going back into the programme as a university student instead of a Year 13 student. Attending gave me a chance to look around the company and be involved in all aspects. This helped me get insights into what my future career could look like and network with people who could potentially be my future colleagues. I’d definitely recommend Shadow a Leader – you get help with your CV development at the start and it’s a good opportunity to meet new people, learn and ask questions.”

The right choice
Deciding to come to AUT for her studies was easy, says Sarisha who would love to get into a role in marketing when she graduates.

“I had my mind set on AUT for about a year before I started university as I was originally planning to do a conjoint in computer science and loved the way that was structured. I had heard great things about AUT, and doing Shadow a Leader helped give me a little bit of an insight into what AUT is like.”

The supportive environment has been one of the highlights of her time at AUT.

“I’ve really appreciated the support from AUT. I started my degree in 2020, and six weeks in we were in our first COVID-19 lockdown. I found studying from home quite difficult, but AUT was really good at communication as well as giving us extensions and extra help if required.”

Advice for other students
Now in the final year of her degree, Sarisha has some great advice for other students.

“Go for it, make the most of your opportunities and enjoy the experience. I’d recommend joining clubs, asking questions in class and just trying everything you can; you never know where it can lead you. Have fun – you’re only a university student for a few years. And don’t forget to make the most of the discounts you can get as a student.”

She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s business degree to other students.

“I’d absolutely recommend the Bachelor of Business. It’s great having hands-on aspects as part of your degree and being able to communicate with your teaching assistants when required. Everyone is really lovely and there’s a variety of AUT student clubs you can join depending on your interests.”

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