Name: Shehan Sharker
Studied: AIS St Helens MBA (graduated 2011)
"It is with great pleasure I bring to your notice that I have successfully completed my course of study and take this opportunity to thank the management and all staff at AIS St Helens for the immense support given to students."
"The majority of the lecturers were amazing with years of experience and excellent teaching skills. It made our learning experience a very memorable and enjoyable one. Compared to other private institutes AIS has very good facilities with a great environment and a mix of students from many backgrounds and cultures."
"I also would like to thank the staff at the MBA office and students services who were very helpful and kind. They were very welcoming and friendly and a special thank you to Bharath and Mark who always go out of their way to assist students and guide students in the right path. Bharath and Mark also helped in organising a cricket tournament for the students and it was a great honour to represent the AIS cricket team and brought students together."
"With the experience I had at AIS I will definitely recommend the institute to others and I have already informed my local agent what a great experience it has been."
Name: Vinod Punjabi
Studying: AIS St Helens MBA
Vinod Punjabi was always keen on doing an MBA. “I chose to get my MBA from AIS St Helens as they gave me an option of majoring in International Business. We were made to go through case studies based on real business situations. A lot was learned through group assignments and giving presentations which improved my ability to present myself in front of groups. The report and assignment that we did after every module were really helpful. My research project was on Fisher & Paykel and this was the key to me getting an excellent job there. The MBA from AIS St Helens gave me the path to reach my goal.”
Name: Chris Harrison
Studying: AIS St Helens MBA
From: Great Britain
Chris Harrison came to New Zealand from Great Britain two years ago to begin his MBA study at AIS St Helens. Prior to entering the MBA Chris ran a number of small businesses in the UK. Chris is currently working part-time in distribution management for the 3M company while he studies the MBA.
“The benefit of the AIS St Helens MBA is the way it is taught. The lecturers come from the industry not from the class room, they know what works in reality verses theory. The MBA programme has enabled me to form networks all over the world with faculty, students and alumni.”
After graduating Chris will look for work in New Zealand retail firms in the areas of operations and logistics management. The new MBA (Operations and Logistics) formulates a strength that the AIS St Helens MBA provides - real world solutions for real world issues.
Name: Jinnie Gill
Aspiring: Business Manager
Multiskilled and multi-talented, Jinnie Gill says that an MBA qualification will give her that competitive edge in the immediate business environment.
Jinnie has a Bachelor degree with majors in vocational English, psychology and English literature from Punjabi University, India. She has also done a Diploma in Advertising from the Indian Institute of Communication Management, Bangalore and a Diploma in Computer Applications from Tata InfoTech, Patiala.
At only 24, Jinnie's work history is as impressive as her qualifications. In India she worked for General Electric in customer services and transaction processing and GE Financial Assurance in Insurance and Post - retirement policies.
Jinnie says having an MBA will strengthen her chances of success in her career. So far, it has enhanced her presentation and analytical skills.
Jinnie rates the AIS St Helens MBA programme as highly informative and useful. She says she has gained knowledge of international trade and business in a multicultural environment. “The MBA staff is excellent and most of them have a real industry experience. The MBA is structured in a way that allows time for readings and preparation for assignments.”
As well as doing her research report as a part of the MBA programme, Jinnie is currently working as an Activity Co-Ordinator (Event Management) at Selwyn Foundation in the retirement sector. Recently she has started her own company named Alliance Creative Solutions Limited specialising in advertising and production in alliance with existing NZ production teams. A small part of the business involves international trade such as importing denim products from various popular destinations across globe.
Jinnie aspires to expand her family business through her enterprise, as her father ran an advertising and production corporation named Alliance Advertising Agency in India for more than 20 years.
Name: Job Cyril
Studied: MBA graduated 2002
What does AIS St Helens have in common with jam, peanut butter and honey? The answer is Job Cyril.
Job is a MBA graduate and a category assistant at Progressive Enterprises Ltd the owners of Foodtown, Woolworths, and Countdown supermarkets. His work involves overseeing the Spreads portfolio for the country.
At AIS St Helens, Job studied international business, trade, finance, marketing and human resources. For his research project he contacted New Zealand's top IT companies. This project was called "Issues Relating to Outsourcing IT Needs in New Zealand.”
Job says he chose to study at AIS St Helens because it provided flexible learning options such as weekend classes.
“The MBA programme has a good reputation and AIS St Helens has an easy enrolment system, prompt service and friendly staff.”
Job also enjoyed the International Trade and Development course.
“The skills I learned in this class and on the Leadership and Marketing Principles courses have been useful in my job,” he adds.
In the future Job wants to get into brand management and business process management. He advises other prospective business leaders to also enroll in the MBA programme.
“The MBA programme is recommended with a good research topic in your chosen field.”
Name: Cao Huiling
Studied: MBA graduated 2004
Huiling chose to complete an MBA at AIS St Helens to gain a better understanding and knowledge of international business and management.
“The MBA programme gives me one of the aids I need to achieve my personal ambitions,” she says.
Currently Huiling works as a customer services officer at ASB Bank in Auckland. Eventually she would like to become a professional banker and financial consultant.
At AIS St Helens Huiling enjoyed meeting people from different cultures and learning from experienced lecturers. However, she admits studying in English was sometimes challenging.
Huiling says at AIS St Helens she learned communication and presentation skills and grasped the basic concepts of how management and business work.
“I also learned it is very important to be able to practice what we learned in the course and apply it to a real situation.”
For her research topic Huiling investigated the effectiveness of direct marketing campaigns undertaken by ASB Bank in New Zealand.
The 28-year-old says studying in New Zealand is quite different to China. She says life as an AIS St Helens student is more fun, challenging and definitely very enjoyable.
Name: Sang-Jin Oh
Studying: AIS St Helens MBA
Aspiring: To work for AIS St Helens
Sang-Jin Oh is passionate about sports and business, but he also wants to be a good boss and that is why he is doing an MBA.
In Korea Sang-Jin founded his own sports agency called Sport Marketing Group (SMG) in 1998. SMG manage famous Korean soccer, basketball and tennis players.
Sang-Jin role was to send young and promising Korean soccer players to train alongside the best at England's Manchester United club and Bobby Charlton International School and Brazil's Zico Soccer School.
Despite mingling with the famous, Sang-Jin and his wife were seeking a more relaxed lifestyle temporarily. In May 2003 they moved to New Zealand and SMG leadership duties and rights were delegated to a business partner.
Although Sang-Jin had already done an arts degree at the prestigious Korea University, he was eager to utilize and support his business experience with a relevant qualification. The AIS St Helens MBA programme fulfilled that need.
“ I had owned my own business for several years, but I didn't have the basic knowledge. I thought that to be a better boss I needed more knowledge.”
He says the MBA course timetable is very flexible and because he has a new baby, he can share domestic duties with his wife.
“The quality of the MBA lecturers is very good. The programme is also very diverse and teaches many things such as accounting, management and marketing.”
When he graduates in May 2005, he would like to work for AIS St Helens helping AIS St Helens attract Korean students.
“I also want to research AIS St Helens branding in Korea. A branch of AIS in Korea could run the AIS foundation or pre-MBA courses, or the language or computer courses.”
Name: Rohit Pande
Studied: MBA graduated 2005
Employment: Hospitality tutor
Rohit Pande says his MBA has helped him teach business better, because he comes from a non-commerce background.
“I have also gained a better understanding of various aspects of business.”
Rohit teaches hospitality and business at the Institute of Applied Learning, a private training provider. As well as an MBA, he has a Diploma in Hotel Management and Catering Technology. He was also a restaurant manager for hotels in Mumbai, India.
Rohit chose New Zealand to further his education because he says it is a great place to live.
“New Zealand is a service-based economy where tourism is the third highest export. The lecturers at AIS St Helens had an excellent profile with a good mix of industry professionals and very high-level academics. AIS St Helens is also the biggest private training provider in Auckland and has a lot of goodwill in the education industry”
At AIS St Helens Rohit enjoyed the input he received from the tutors and his peers.
“The fellow students were great and from different parts of the world. This helped open my eyes to different cultures and protocol. It was an awesome feeling to be accepted by people from another culture. The staff were friendly, courteous and respectful.”
Rohit says the culture shock was a huge challenge to overcome. However, over time and with more exposure it was overcome and consequently opened his mind.
Rohit admits the education style in New Zealand is very different from India.
“There is a strong focus on self-study and assignments. At first it seemed weird to go to class only for two days a fortnight but thereafter we realised that it actually worked well for us.”
For his academic research, which was a part of the curriculum, he did a research on 'Trends in Foreign Exchange Risk Management by New Zealand Wineries.
Rohit enjoyed the atmosphere at AIS St Helens as it encouraged students to learn and at the same time not lose touch with activities like work and socialising. His advice to other students is to not limit your friendship only with people of your home country.
“Make friends with as many international students as possible. You will broaden your horizons and learn a lot more about people and yourself.”
Eventually Rohit is planning to return to the hospitality industry and increase his skills in other areas of operation.
“New Zealand is a very student-friendly country. Being a student here teaches you a lot more than just the academics. Overall, it makes you a wiser person.”
Name: Chandan Ohri
Studied: MBA graduated 2004
Employment: Assistant Manager (Information Systems) for BDO Spicers. (This is the fifth largest Chartered Accountancy firm in New Zealand).
Although Chandan Ohri had more than a decade of experience in finance, he was keen to extend his knowledge; enrolling in the AIS St Helens MBA programme was the answer.
“I liked the ability to mix work with gaining a post-graduate qualification. The fact that I could attend classes on the weekend was a definite plus in the selection process.”
Chandan has an extensive knowledge of auditing, accountancy, taxation and information systems. He also has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Delhi University, is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, member of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.
On the MBA programme Chandan developed new skills and at his graduation he was awarded the Enterprise Award.
“Managerial qualities and thinking beyond the square was something that I gained from this course. This course helped me to progress in my career path by providing me with a foundation to climb the corporate ladder.”
He considers the highlight of his MBA study was the opportunity he had to work alongside other students. He also says the teaching style was interactive with emphasis on case studies and group discussions.
“I enjoyed the friendly environment at AIS St Helens and the faculty were qualified and experienced.”
Chandan's biggest challenge was concentrating in class after a hard week of work. He says he overcame this through a desire to learn and a strong will. Since graduating, his next ambition is to head his division at BDO Spicers.
“An MBA for me as a domestic student has been a stepping stone in my career path and it is good to have a New Zealand qualification.”
Name: Yan Qui Yu (34)
Studying: AIS St Helens MBA
Aspiring: A management position in an Information Technology company
The AIS St Helens slogan “Individual focus, International vision,” was what attracted Yan Qiu Yu to undertake an MBA degree.
Yan Qiu says the slogan reflects her ambitions. When she completes her qualification she would like to develop her career in the mobile telecommunication industry. She is interested in researching new commerce opportunities available for mobile users.
Currently as part of her final MBA research project Yan Qiu is interviewing information technology companies such as Vodafone and Ericsson. Her aim is to understand the Vodafone and Ericsson perspective and discover the market development challenges existing elsewhere.
Yan Qiu says her MBA papers have equipped her with the right skills to approach these organisations. She particular found the group exercises, class discussions, presentation and communication tasks useful.
Yan Qiu interest in mobile technology began in China. After several years working in the textile industry in China and then America, she returned to China and joined Ericsson. At the time the textile industry was shrinking and Yan Qiu was seeking a career that helped improve people's living and working conditions.
Yan Qiu discovered AIS St Helens MBA programme through an agent. A check on the Internet confirmed her decision. She has no regrets.
“At other universities the classes are big. At AIS St Helens classes are small and there are good opportunities to talk and ask questions.”
Yan Qiu says her tutors are very knowledgeable and are good at explaining complicated economic issues using simple words. She says the skills she is learning will be invaluable in the future.
“The main focus is on management techniques, but from a broad perspective. The group activities also teach you how to communicate. I now know how to motivate team members and get the job done.”
Name: Rony Pawar (29)
AIS St Helens MBA graduate Rony Pawar's credits his achievements to the skills he learned studying.
Recently Rony was nominated the best team manager at Teltech NZ Limited, a multinational contact center in Auckland. He also tutors BIB (Bachelor of International Business) students part-time at AIS St Helens.
Prior to studying Rony was a commissioned officer in the Indian army. He quit this position and enrolled in the MBA course to develop his management and business skills.
“I wanted some business acumen to have a competitive edge in the market,” he says.
He chose AIS St Helens after a recommendation from a friend.
“AIS St Helens has the best lecturers and students receive more attention than a large university.”
He says despite the challenges of adapting to a new culture, he enjoyed his experience and achieved high results. Papers in human resources, communication and marketing were particular useful. For his final research project, he worked at Startel Group, an Auckland contact center. He believes this experience helped him secure his current job.
Rony's most memorable moment was being valedictorian at graduation. In the future he would like to do his PhD and eventually become a lecturer.
Name: Nitin Siva
Studied: MBA graduated 2003
After life as an AIS St Helens student Nitin Siva has returned home to India with aspirations of owning his own consultancy firm.
Currently Nitin is a consultant for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation. He graduated with an MBA majoring in International Business in August 2003 and remembers his student days fondly.
“AIS St Helens is one of the best institutes. There are also a lot of other international students and the fees are reasonable.”
As an international student, Nitin says he benefited academically and socially. He gained new business knowledge and learned about marketing and management. Personally, he gained patience and self-confidence and became more independent. Nitin is particularly grateful for the international friends he made and says he has learned how to cooperate with and understand other people better.
Nitin says at AIS St Helens the class sizes are small and the lecturers give attention to every student in the class. He also rates the AIS St Helens facilities and student life highly. He particularly enjoyed the library, gym, dormitory and the student parties.
Now that Nitin is back home, he is applying his MBA skills in his current job. His advice to other students is: 'hard work pays off.'
Name: Anuradha Ravi Moses
Studied: MBA graduated 2004
Employment: Assistant Account Manager
Before attending AIS St Helens, Anuradha Ravi Moses had not been in a classroom for more than 15 years. She was also apprehensive about leaving her husband and children in India while she studied in New Zealand. Despite her reservations Anuradha took a risk and enrolled in the AIS St Helens MBA programme.
Anuradha is grateful for her decision.
“The lecturers at AIS St Helens made the classes so interesting and the pace was just right. I was able to cope and the homely atmosphere cleared any doubts that I had. As for the homesickness, it vanished after three months. I was enjoying the course, the climate, the flowers, my job and all the new friends that I had made in New Zealand.”
On her course, Anuradha learned different management theories and the practical application of these theories.
“I now know a lot more on subjects that I had no clue about just a few months ago. I was able to implement many of the principles at my workplace and get a good response from my employer.”
Currently Anuradha is an Assistant Account Manager in charge of payroll and bank reconciliation for Financial and Business Advisor Limited in West Auckland.
“I also do telemarketing whenever I find myself free from accounting duties. We sell annual subscriptions to a business and tax information publication and provide our subscribers with a free consultancy service.”
On her course Anuradha had to do presentations, she says this helped her develop her confidence and leadership skills. Research was another component of her studies.
“Every module culminates with an assignment, which involves research of a different topic each time. I will be undertaking the final research project sometime in October or November 2005.”
Anuradha describes the teaching style at AIS St Helens as interactive.
“The lecturers used role-plays, games and presentations to teach us various aspects of management. There were group discussions in class, which I thoroughly enjoyed. AIS St Helens has international lecturers who are professionals from the Industry teaching us and coaching us with life and management skills.”
In 1989 Anuradha completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Bangalore University. She then worked in various organisations in Bangalore, including Hewlett Packard as an MIS Coordinator – generating reports with data analysis for their national call center. Despite her success in India New Zealand life appealed to Anuradha.
“I heard from many people that New Zealand is a beautiful country to live in. To advance my career and to see if I would like to settle in New Zealand, I looked into doing a course here.”
Anuradha found AIS St Helens' easy registration process and the fact that the MBA offered weekend classes appealing. It meant that she had time to find work during the week.
“I was welcomed very warmly by the student representatives. I felt at ease instantly with no room left for any anxieties.”
Anuradha advice to students is to come with an open-mind, be attentive in class and diligently follow the instructions of the lecturers. She says follow these rules and students will find that they become a much better person, capable of doing a lot more things in life.
Anuradha hopes to gain more experience in New Zealand and move up the corporate ladder. Ultimately she would also like to bring her family here to live.
“In New Zealand jobs to sustain oneself are easily available. Accommodation, transport facilities are available without much fuss. People are very friendly and courteous. All it takes is a little effort.”
“Studying here is a wonderful opportunity. It has changed my life and in turn the life of my entire family for the better and for this I am truly grateful.”