Final-year student, Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Event Management and Marketing
Organising a quiz night event with her classmates was the highlight of her studies, says Xiang (Chris) Ouyang who is graduating with a Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Event Management and Marketing this August.
“For our Event Production paper, all students had to organise an event. On the event day, everyone was working so hard to decorate the venue and get ready for the event. It took us eight hours to get everything ready for our Wait What quiz night event. Even though we were all exhausted at the end of the event, I was enjoying the teamwork and the smiles from all the participants.”
The experience also opened her eyes to the power of teamwork, Chris admits.
“I don’t normally enjoy groupwork and usually prefer doing things on my own, however seeing the power of teamwork as we put this event together really changed my mind. The event was so successful, and the audience was very happy. When I saw people leaving with a satisfied smile, I was even more sure that I want to work in the event management industry.”
The right fit
Making people happy is something she has always enjoyed, says Chris who came to AUT as an international student from China and is planning to enrol in postgraduate study at AUT after she graduates.
“I’ve always been a person who enjoys making people happy, so studying the Bachelor of International Hospitality Management seemed a good fit for me. Before I came to AUT, I already had some experience with events, and knew that I’m really interested in organising and holding events.”
When it was time to choose a university, AUT stood out for its blend of theoretical and practical teaching and learning, Chris says.
“I prefer a university that focuses on both theory and practice. As people say, through practical experiences you actually learn better. AUT was therefore the best choice for me. I love that in the hospitality degree we don’t only learn about the skills we’ll need for the hospitality industry but also get a lot of practical experience.”
Making the most of student life
In addition to successfully completing her studies, Chris also managed to make the most of university life throughout her three years at AUT.
“One of the achievements I’m most proud of was being a volunteer for AUT’s social space project in 2019. As much as I love making people happy, at times I found it a little hard to ask strangers to complete the social space survey and get students’ opinions of AUT’s social space. But I knew I had to overcome this challenge, and that’s what I did. My partner and I even won the award for good volunteers for our role in the social space project.”
Another standout experience for Chris was organising a fashion runway event with one of her friends.
“My friend and I created a club at AUT, which included planning a fashion runway. When we had everything ready for the activity, we struggled to find a good venue to hold the activity. Fortunately, the students’ association, AUTSA, helped us book a big classroom as our venue, which was something we were very grateful for and the event ended up being very successful.”