Venesse Cheng Yan Tong

Venesse Cheng Yan Tong

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

She chose to live in AUT’s student accommodation to make the most of her university experience, says Venesse Cheng Yan Tong, an international student from Malaysia who lives in the Wellesley Student Apartments at the AUT City Campus.

“As an international student, I wanted to be a part of a community. I love everything about living in the Wellesley Student Apartments – it’s convenient because it’s in the city and close to the university, the accommodation provides excellent care for our mental and physical wellbeing, and living here makes me feel like I’m a part of a big family.”

She would highly recommend the Wellesley Student Apartments to other students.

“I strongly recommend living in the Wellesley Student Apartments because it’s an excellent environment, and you will undoubtedly meet people who share your values and interests and may even become lifelong friends. When I graduate, I’ll miss being a residential assistant and living at the Wellesley Student Apartments because it was my first home in New Zealand.”

Choosing AUT
While she has certainly enjoyed living in the heart of Auckland, Venesse admits that initially she had quite different plans for university.

“I had always planned to study in the United Kingdom as I grew up in a UK boarding school, and all my friends were there. However, when I first visited New Zealand in 2020 for my brother's graduation from AUT, I fell in love with the country, with AUT and with the people.

“At the AUT graduation ceremony, I was mesmerised by how diverse and inclusive AUT is. Witnessing Māori families perform a haka to acknowledge the graduate's accomplishment inspired me to want to be in the same environment.”

After talking to her brother, Venesse knew she had found the right university for her.

“My brother said that I would love studying at AUT since the lecturers are incredibly encouraging, and the collaborative, hands-on teaching approach is perfect for me. I like studying in such a positive, healthy and pleasant learning environment, and having access to numerous resources and student facilities.”

Finding her passion
Now in the final year of her Bachelor of Business, Venesse says her studies have helped her find her true passion; marketing.

“The Bachelor of Business equipped me with many valuable skills, and a solid foundation and confidence to help me enter the real corporate world. I’ve especially enjoyed being in a small class atmosphere as it allows for greater interaction and cooperation with others. My goal now is to work in marketing and continue increasing my marketing expertise and abilities as I deal with real-life business challenges and develop marketing strategies for a company.”

She appreciates the support she has received during her studies.

“Whenever I needed assistance or extra guidance, all the teaching assistants and lecturers were always extremely helpful and encouraging. I presently have an 8.4 GPA and was on the business dean's honours list for the first and second years of my studies at AUT. I wouldn’t have achieved this without the support from AUT.”