3rd-year student, Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations & Management
Business student Shekiba Maqsoodi aims to use her degree to make a difference.
“I’m interested in entrepreneurship, and I believe in social change and making a difference. I’d love to start my own organisation and become an influential leader supporting the environment or youth, especially young refugees as I know that life can be very challenging for them.
“What I like about business is that it gives me skills to do social good to improve the future. At first, I thought that business was all about numbers, but then I learned more about human resource management and became very passionate about this field. I can look after employees’ rights or help the community and youth. I’m also interested in recruitment and helping break down barriers for minorities, and helping young people prepare for an interview.”
Shekiba also appreciates the wide range of topics her business degree covers.
“I like the different things we cover in business, and how we also get to study other areas like employment law, sustainability and much more. My favourite papers have been on entrepreneurship, management, and on logistics and supply chain management. I’ve learnt a lot in the past couple of years, and I especially liked being able to show my ability and creativity in the entrepreneurship paper.”
Caring for refugees
Throughout her studies Shekiba is supported by a Sir Robert Jones Refugee Daughters Scholarship.
Shekiba was seven or eight when she first arrived in New Zealand. Her dad was on the Tampa ship and arrived in New Zealand in 2001, and his family joined him here in 2007.
“At the start it was really challenging trying to adjust to a new environment – everything was different and new to me.
“When I was first introduced to the Sir Robert Jones Refugee Daughters Scholarship, I realised I could apply for this opportunity. It encouraged and motivated me to study at university, which I feel extremely grateful for. It was admirable to see their compassion and support for female refugees like myself. That’s another reason why I want to become a leader; because that’s the kind of support and opportunities you can offer refugees as a leader.”
She is grateful for the support she has received during her time at AUT, Shekiba says.
“We receive a lot of support from the Scholars Support team. For example, they helped us find mentors so we can have one-on-one interactions with a mentor. My mentor, Angela McCarthy, looks after me very well. She always encourages me and celebrates my accomplishments, and also provides a lot help and support in all areas. The diversity manager, Lian-Hong Brebner, is also great and gives me a lot of advice whenever I need it.”
Advice for other students
Now in the final year of her degree, Shekiba has some great advice for other students.
“My guidance is: if you're going into uni life, go into it with a positive mentality and attempt to appreciate what you're doing. Also, try to find an activity or a hobby you can do on the side to help you get through any stress you might be dealing with.”
It’s also important to manage your time, she adds.
“University education is altogether different from secondary school, and towards the beginning that was challenging. At uni, nobody is going to keep an eye on you or reprimand you; it's dependent on you to deal with your own time and remain in control. It's extremely significant that you figure out how to deal with your time."