A personal commitment to acquire knowledge, understanding and capability through quality education has lead many AIS graduates to achieve Real World Success. Read some of their stories here, and then take the first step to achieving your own goals with an AIS qualification.
Prior to commencing the MBA programme at AIS, I had just completed my bachelor degree in management and was working as an HR Consultant in Auckland, something I thought I’d ...
Prior to commencing the MBA programme at AIS, I had just completed my bachelor degree in management and was working as an HR Consultant in Auckland, something I thought I’d be happy making a career of. However, that changed with the MBA, which stimulated and challenged me mentally and it helped me with my personal and professional development.
I am currently working in account management/risk analysis for a global organisation, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I can honestly say that the MBA at AIS helped me with my career progression.
The faculty administering the courses are top lecturers from various universities who have global business experience, not just academic knowledge, which they share in class. There is a strong network in place to support students, which I found extremely helpful.
As a professional, I use the skills and knowledge acquired through the MBA in my everyday work life. In today’s world, everyone has a degree, but the MBA works as a trump card for career progression and I would highly recommend the AIS MBA programme to any professional looking to advance their career prospects.
A key factor for me in choosing the MBA programme was the industry-experienced lecturers that are both local and international, something that is rarely seen in many MBA programmes. An academically ...
A key factor for me in choosing the MBA programme was the industry-experienced lecturers that are both local and international, something that is rarely seen in many MBA programmes.
An academically good education from New Zealand universities and polytechnics was something I knew to expect, but I wanted more. AIS offered me a dynamic learning environment that supported, encouraged and challenged me.
I came to New Zealand from China with a formal qualification and successfully established my own small internet café business. However, I found that my business knowledge and way of critical thinking needed to be expanded to further my career. The industry knowledge, practical skills and behaviour that I learned while studying here all helped me to find employment in New Zealand, and I am using these skills in my role as a counsellor for a leading education and immigration agency. As a result of my journey with AIS I would strongly recommend students studying there as they will get a quality education.
Applying classroom knowledge to real businesses With a background in the service industry for close to seven years, Fasi has undertaken a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) at AIS in ...
Applying classroom knowledge to real businesses
With a background in the service industry for close to seven years, Fasi has undertaken a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) at AIS in order to further his knowledge of how the service industry in New Zealand operates. Managing the business, while studying for a PGDBA, has given Fasi the chance to put theory into practice.
“The PGDBA programme at AIS has helped me to understand customer behaviour and gain practical knowledge into the New Zealand service industry.”
AIS PGDBA knowledge is essential
Fasi notes that many of the courses in the PGDBA programme have been relevant to managing the business in Auckland. To name a few, he mentions that he enjoys th Services Marketing course as it serves to provide insight on how best to market the restaurant in Auckland. He is also particularly interested in the Managing Information and Technology course as he agrees with the premise emphasising the importance of utilising social media and Information technology when running a competitive business.
AIS PGDBA programme
So what does Fasi have to say about studying for a PGDBA at AIS?
“AIS PGDBA has helped me to manage Paradise efficiently and effectively and most importantly be able to yield profits.”
We are delighted that Fasi has chosen AIS to further his studies and we wish him all the best with growing the business!
The Internship After completing his MBA qualification at AIS, Kenji Murakami was the first student to complete the newly introduced AIS MBA Internship Pathway Programme working at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of ...
After completing his MBA qualification at AIS, Kenji Murakami was the first student to complete the newly introduced AIS MBA Internship Pathway Programme working at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the world’s largest auditing firms. During his internship, Kenji worked as part of the Financial Risk management team at PwC. With over 10 years experience in an actuary role back in Japan, Kenji was delighted at the opportunity to work with the PwC Financial Risk management team as this allowed him to gain valuable insights into an actuary role in New Zealand as well as broaden his industry contacts within his field.
“During my internship with PwC, I was able to acquire a lot of knowledge about the actuarial regulation in New Zealand and my role in the team also allowed me to meet with a lot of other actuaries, including the President of the New Zealand Society of Actuaries (NZSA).”
The NZSA is the professional body for actuaries practising in New Zealand and is currently made up of around 300 members. Membership with the NZSA is very exclusive and can usually only be attained through an existing member’s recommendation. Kenji is currently awaiting confirmation to join as a member of the NZSA with recommendation from the President of the NZSA.
One of the major highlights for Kenji while working at PwC was being able to gain New Zealand working experience, which he feels is an important criteria when looking for a job in New Zealand. He believes the work experience attained during his internship will serve to increase his job opportunities here in New Zealand.
Kenji enjoyed doing the MBA programme at AIS and feels that the programme is able to provide him with the managerial skills and knowledge required to help further his career in his field.
“All the lecturers were so wonderful that my learning process was always highly stimulated. They answered my questions respectfully, they provided effective case studies for learning practically in their lectures, and they provided appropriate feedback of my assignment to me.”
With an impressive CV from working with one of the world’s largest auditing firm and credible references from his internship, there is no doubt we will be catching up with Kenji again soon to chat about his next role here in New Zealand!
Chandan Ohri completed his MBA at AIS in September 2004. Today he is a partner (part owner) and head of IT advisory at KPMG New Zealand, one of the country’s ...
Chandan Ohri completed his MBA at AIS in September 2004. Today he is a partner (part owner) and head of IT advisory at KPMG New Zealand, one of the country’s leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services.
As a partner, Chandan is actively involved with KPMG New Zealand in the areas of operational strategy, business process design and re-engineering, supply chain optimisation, project management, and business intelligence. As the head of IT advisory, he is responsible for the growth of the firm's national IT advisory team of 75 specialists.
In addition to his position at KPMG New Zealand, Chandan is also the president at CPA Australia and a member of the MBA academic advisory committee here, at AIS.
Chandan left New Delhi, India, for New Zealand in late 2002 to give his family a brighter future.
“I looked at Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and I picked New Zealand for the quality of life.”
A short while later, in September, he enrolled at AIS to study MBA, a move that later proved instrumental in his success.
“I picked Auckland Institute of Studies because it offered a permanent course on weekends which allowed me to work Monday to Friday. I couldn't find anyone else who did that in New Zealand.”
His application was backed by a bachelor’s degree with honours in commerce from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (University of Delhi) in addition to 9 years of work experience: progressing step by step from article clerk at S P Chopra & Co. (IGAF Polaris India), to assistant manager at HELLA, later to Consultant/Internal Auditor at Gurind India Private Limited, and finally to partner at Vinay Aggarwal and Associates.
Chandan sought MBA as a means to expand his knowledge across a range of disciplines which would later enable him to grow.
“All the 20 modules combined to give you the overall experience: together they help you with HR, finance, logistics, culture, cross-cultural behaviours, economics, etc. and that’s what you want, an overall experience. When you specialise in IT or accounting, you are restricted, which is good at a bachelor’s level, but when you’re going into postgraduate, masters, you want to bring all the different disciplines in an organisation into one.”
Not long into the course, feeling the need to advance, and to support his family, Chandan sought the help of the AIS student placement service; another key move.
“I was working full-time with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as an online services consultant. I found that job through the AIS student placement service.”
One year into his duties at NZTE (while studying), and with the help of a recruitment agency, Chandan got the opportunity to join BDO New Zealand, part of BDO International, the fifth largest accountancy network in the world. He started as a senior consultant and worked there full-time while studying.
Chandan completed his MBA in September 2004 with an Enterprise Award for all round excellence.
“I was very happy and excited when I received that award. It was a great sense of achievement.”
All the while he kept his position at BDO New Zealand, moving from senior consultant to director/owner in 2010.
Having successfully carried out his duties at BDO, Chandan was approached by KPMG New Zealand.
“They wanted to grow their consulting practice at the time and I specialise in growing large consulting practices. In my previous role I had grown a consulting practice with BDO, so I was headhunted to come and grow the consulting practice for KPMG.”
We asked Chandan how MBA relates to his work at KPMG:
“It relates to international clients that we have. Then it is all about business led transformation and you get exposure to frameworks and case studies.”
His role as the head of IT advisory calls for certain challenges:
“One of the biggest challenges we have is finding the right people. We have a skills shortage in New Zealand, so I often have to go overseas to hire people.
“The other challenge is people and skills development. It’s a balance between work and further enhancing the skills of employees; they need to keep learning new things.”
Chandan has now built and secured a bright future for his family. His future plans concern his work:
“For me it’s continuing to grow. I’ve done New Zealand and now I’ve started to look at how can I grow the Asia-pacific region.”
Would Chandan recommend AIS?
“Absolutely. If you want flexibility in your studies, AIS would be the perfect place and the faculty are very good. They are a select group of university lecturers, consultants and industry executives. The classes for MBA are on the weekends, which is beneficial as you can work part-time Monday to Friday.
“I recommend people with five to ten years experience do an MBA, the real world exposure means you'll get a lot more benefit from it.”
His advice to current students and graduates of AIS:
“You must have a desire to grow. Take short steps, achieve the performance, make sure people recognise what you have achieved, and you will reach where you want to go very quickly.
“It’s how you take the learnings and apply them in your real life that matters.”
In addition to his MBA, Chandan is a certified information systems auditor (CISA, ISACA) and fraud examiner (ACFE), and holds FCA, CPA and CA certificates from ICAI, CPA Australia and NZICA respectively.
It's a long way from Teusaquillo, Bogota to Auckland, New Zealand but AIS Colombian Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) student Cristian Sequera has made his stay in New Zealand ...
It's a long way from Teusaquillo, Bogota to Auckland, New Zealand but AIS Colombian Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) student Cristian Sequera has made his stay in New Zealand a family affair.
Cristian studied his first degree in International Affairs at the prestigious Universidad del Rosario in Bogota. After completing a graduate diploma in management, Cristian worked for Bancafe and later Davivienda banks in various finance and project management roles.
However, his focus has always been on overseas study. A desire to seek a more international outlook for his young family, along with a top quality education in an English language speaking country, sparked a search for education opportunities abroad. After narrowing the search down to Norway, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, he finally decided to come to Auckland, due to the good quality of life, low costs by comparison to the other countries and excellent climate.
Cristian discovered that as a postgraduate student in New Zealand his family could accompany him on his studies, and although the process of obtaining visas for himself, his wife and two kids was daunting initially, once complete the applications were approved in only three days.
On arrival in Auckland the family were impressed by the multicultural nature of Auckland, something not so evident in Colombia. Their first impression of the city was one of tranquility and calm - and a relaxed life style.
Cristian is enjoying his studies on the AIS PGDBA, and the fact that the courses are studied over the weekend allows him more time to devote to family life during the week. His eldest son Tomas (9) is currently attending Parnell District Primary School, while youngest son Martin (3) is at a local Kindergarten. Wife, Erika is a psychologist, has an open work visa and is currently attending English classes downtown. The family live in a comfortable apartment in the city, close to all transport links.
Despite the huge challenge of organising a major life change for himself and his family, Cristian is very happy with AIS and progress made so far.
“AIS is a well organised, responsible and multicultural institute. People are extremely kind and disposed to help. The MBA, marketing and administration team are excellent, and the teachers with their mix of practical experience and industry connections have a perfect background for teaching.”
With his excellent background in finance, project management and compliance, including experience working with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), on graduation with an AIS PGDBA Cristian’s employment prospects in Auckland are excellent; and we wish him and his family Real World Success in their new lives in New Zealand.
Nisha graduated from AIS with a Graduate Diploma in International Business in late August 2014. She is currently enjoying her stay in New Zealand on a 12-month Post Study Work ...
Nisha graduated from AIS with a Graduate Diploma in International Business in late August 2014. She is currently enjoying her stay in New Zealand on a 12-month Post Study Work visa, working as a Delivery Center Consultant at IBM (Concentrix) on behalf of Air New Zealand. In addition to her AIS Graduate Diploma, Nisha has over nine years of experience working within the hospitality and hotel industry, later progressing up to the level of marketing executive, along with a bachelor degree in IT and aviation and air hostess training.
Nisha came to New Zealand from West Bengal, India in June 2012 with an offer of place to study Graduate Diploma in Business (Marketing) at a nearby tertiary institution. Having completed five papers there, Nisha ran into visa difficulties due to course availability issues which left her with two options: either stay in Auckland without student work rights, or return to India for six months, then come back and start over. In either case, she would have to give up her job.
“Not a comfortable position. Basically if I went back to India, I would have to leave everything behind. I was already working in New Zealand which I would’ve had to leave and I already had a place to stay which I would’ve had to, again, leave, which was not very suitable. I was under pressure.”
Luckily, through a recommendation from friends, Nisha met AIS.
“How I met AIS was really interesting. My friend said we should go and ask around if we can cross-credit. The first uni was AIS – it was near.”
“Mike Roberts (Vice President) really guided me very well. Basically being here, still working, keeping my job and getting my graduate diploma was all his credit. If not for getting support from Mike, I don’t know whether I would be still standing. He advised what papers I needed to take and how I should be going ahead. He was very supportive because in the state I was, I was already losing my hopes left and right. To put all that together in one place is really supportive.”
“I was really lucky to have my friend direct me to AIS.”
Nisha successfully cross-credited the graduate diploma courses from the other institution, and went on to study two semesters at AIS.
“From the six months being here, I found the lecturers to be very helpful and open, and the study is really good – short but effective, it’s just three months but you get to learn a lot. AIS are really supportive with international students and have a better, stress-free environment.”
After graduation, Nisha got her 12-month Post Study Work visa and is currently looking to settle in New Zealand.
“My first choice is to stay in New Zealand – it’s a good, beautiful country with high living standards.”
“At this point I’m looking to stick with the current job and keep applying for better marketing positions, looking toward the corporate sector. I need a bit of time to put my things together.”
“I’m looking forward to working in corporate marketing with fixed hours, having more time for myself. Customer service and marketing – these are the two main areas.”
Before I attended AIS, I was working for Paradise International Hotel in Tonga as an accounts manager. Having worked for several years in accounts, I realised that for me to ...
Before I attended AIS, I was working for Paradise International Hotel in Tonga as an accounts manager. Having worked for several years in accounts, I realised that for me to get ahead I needed an accounting qualification.
Choosing New Zealand and AIS to further my education in accounting was the right decision for me. I was fortunate to receive a Pacific Island Educational Scholarship. My two years studying were the most pleasurable and memorable throughout my study history. The institute has a strong faculty and high-quality academic staff. I had the most caring, intellectually stimulating and responsive lecturers and tutors. They have equipped me with the knowledge, skills and the professionalism that I needed for my career, and the critical thinking that I needed for lifelong development of my knowledge in accounting and the business sector.
I am now employed at New Zealand Industrial Specialists Limited as an accounts manager. Being educated at AIS helped me find a good job in New Zealand. I am so proud to apply what I have learned to my employment today.
Vivi completed her Bachelor in International Business at AIS in early May 2013 and currently works at Amicus Law, an Auckland-based law firm, as a legal executive with additional marketing ...
Vivi completed her Bachelor in International Business at AIS in early May 2013 and currently works at Amicus Law, an Auckland-based law firm, as a legal executive with additional marketing responsibilities.
Originally from Guangdong, China, Vivi enrolled at AIS in May 2011 as a domestic student by cross-crediting her previous qualification. The decision to study Bachelor’s at AIS was made with encouragement from her parents and by recommendation from her friends already studying here.
“I was focused on working and getting my residency. I wasn’t concentrating on getting my degree, but my parents wanted me to finish it. That’s when I picked AIS and I chose to study part-time.”
“I had about 5-6 friends already studying at AIS who were in a similar situation and they said that if I wanted to finish my degree, then AIS is the best way. Other universities in Auckland didn’t offer as many cross credits so that was the best choice for me.”
Being a non-native English speaker, Vivi faced difficulties studying in her first semester at AIS. Fortunately, AIS requires all students to take a compulsory English Study Writing course early on to address this concern.
“I was struggling at the time but after that course I was thinking yes, I’ve made the right choice.”
“I really enjoyed studying in the English class. I thought that was very useful and my previous university didn't provide such a subject. I enjoyed that part very much. It was a very good step, even though I had been in NZ for so many years, sometimes you forget things and that's a really good step to help you pick up the knowledge and skills to write essays etc. I thought that was a very good experience when I was at AIS.”
Vivi joined Amicus Law in January 2014, a few months after finishing her qualification at AIS. The knowledge she gained from studying for her Bachelor’s degree proves useful in her daily activities at the firm.
“Especially the last subject in my programme, Applied Management Project, because that's the thing where you combine all your knowledge and do a project by yourself. Definitely useful.”
In addition to her Bachelor’s degree, Vivi holds a Diploma in Tourism and Travel Services Management from AUT, a NZ Diploma in Business, and a Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality from AWI International Group. Prior to her position as a legal executive, Vivi worked as an overseas trade executive at Transnational Exports Limited, a sales associate at Luxottica group, a store manager at InTouch Digital Communications, and as a director’s assistant at Vault Realty.
In the future Vivi plans to expand on her marketing knowledge and turn it into a career.
“I actually want to do more marketing work with students, so this job is a good start. In the future I would like to look at doing marketing for schools. That’s my goal or vision for the next 5 years.”
Michael Croft's Bachelor of International Business Degree has paved the way for his world travels. Since graduating from AIS, Michael has worked for importers and exporters in Japan, New Zealand and ...
Michael Croft's Bachelor of International Business Degree has paved the way for his world travels.
Since graduating from AIS, Michael has worked for importers and exporters in Japan, New Zealand and now Europe. His latest position is importing perishable seafreight for a German company based in Holland.
“I went to Japan after I finished my BIB and worked for an importer in Kobe for nine months. That was an experience! Then I came back to New Zealand and got a job exporting airfreight for Owens Coolair, based out at Auckland Airport. They offered me a promotion to manager of airfreight. It was a tough decision because it would have been a good job, but I really wanted to go overseas. This job in Holland came up and it seemed perfect,” says Michael.
Though the position is currently just a four-month contract, there may be the opportunity to extend it.
“I haven't been to Europe before and I've always wanted to go there. A car and a flat in Amsterdam were organised for me and I've got friends in London who I'm keen to catch up with too. I only speak English but I'll try and learn a little bit of Dutch while I'm there.”
Eager to see as much of the world as possible, the jet-setting 24-year-old would also like to utilise his working holiday visa for Canada a little further down the track. He's confident that he will find work there in importing and exporting also.
There can be no doubt that when Michael Croft eventually returns to New Zealand, not only will he have seen much of the world, but he'll also be armed with a very impressive CV.
Most of his life Michael has harboured a keen interest in international business. It's not surprising really – he's grown up with it. His father is an exporter, so Michael has been raised with a fair idea of what the industry is all about.
After completing sixth form at Pukekohe High he decided he wanted to learn more about International Business so enrolled at AIS. He hasn't looked back since.
“I've used the skills I learned in the BIB throughout my career. The course gave me a broad perspective on work and a broader understanding of dealing with people. It taught me how to convert currencies and the terminology used in my field. There are a lot of things that I've thought to myself along the way ‘Hey, I learned that in the BIB'.”
Michael said another benefit he gained from studying at AIS was making friends with people from so many different countries.
“If I ever wanted to go on holiday in Asia I wouldn't be short of somewhere to stay! I've been to Thailand several times to visit my friends from the BIB and I've also been to visit a mate in Korea. These are people that I still keep in contact with although it has been nearly five years since I've been studying. They may well be my business contacts in the future.”
And what does Michael's future hold?
“As far as my long-term plans go, I'll probably be back here exporting produce with my father. I've always said I'd like to work for him but I always wanted to do my own thing first.”
And right now, that's just what he's doing.
Catherine Zhang has always been exceptional. She was Dux of the high school she attended in Tonga and then gained her Bachelor of International Business degree from AIS in a ...
Catherine Zhang has always been exceptional. She was Dux of the high school she attended in Tonga and then gained her Bachelor of International Business degree from AIS in a mere two years. Aside from a B+ for one paper, she was a straight A pupil.
She's now got a fabulous marketing job with an Auckland-based property development company. In her spare time she's setting up an educational consultancy and hopes to add an export-import component into that in the near future.
“I'm really keen to start up my own business because there is so much opportunity for export-import between China and New Zealand,” says Catherine.
Pretty impressive stuff for someone who is only 22.
Catherine probably has her mother to thank, in part, for her success. A highly successful career woman herself, Catherine's mum has always fully supported her daughter's ambition and drive. And it is because of her mum that Catherine ended up living in Tonga for two years and discovering New Zealand.
“My mum was a managing director for a Korean company at the time and we went to Tonga for a look. I loved it, so although my parents went back to China, I stayed there and completed my last two years of high school. There were about 100 other Chinese living in Tonga then. It was a good place to learn English, it was peaceful and there wasn't much to distract me from my studies.”
In 1999 Catherine went back to China and worked for a year as a translator and English editor. However her sights were firmly set on a degree.
“While I was in Tonga I visited New Zealand twice. I got to know Auckland quite well and really liked it so I decided to come here for my degree studies. I chose AIS because I had heard through a friend that I could fast-track my studies. I wanted to finish my degree as fast as possible - I didn't want to spend any more of my mum's money than absolutely necessary!”
Catherine whizzed through her degree in two years and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“The BIB was good. I liked the small classes and I made friends with all the lecturers. They were fantastic. Even though I've left, we are still in touch. I don't think that would have happened if I'd gone to Auckland University.”
Towards the end of her BIB, Catherine landed a part-time job as a receptionist for the property development company she now works for. Once she graduated they offered her full-time work and she moved into their marketing department.
She is now on a fast track to a challenging and stimulating career and is excited about her future. A future that lies predominantly, she says, in New Zealand.
“After three or four years I might go back and live in China for a while. Eventually though I think I'll come back and live in New Zealand. I'll bring my parents with me. I just love it here.”
Supavat has lived and studied in more parts of New Zealand than many Kiwis have even visited. He first came here when he was 16 years old, living in Nelson for ...
Supavat has lived and studied in more parts of New Zealand than many Kiwis have even visited.
He first came here when he was 16 years old, living in Nelson for two years and studying at the Nelson Polytechnic. After six weeks in the General English programme, he went on to do his National Certificate in Business there.
Whenever he didn't have his nose to the grindstone, he and his girlfriend would go sightseeing to various South Island hotspots, including Christchurch, Kaikoura and Westport.
"I really loved living in Nelson," says Supavat. "It's got nice people, it's beautiful, the weather is very sunny and there's a really good cafe there. I love it so much I have to go back there every couple of years!"
Very business orientated, Supavat then moved to Hamilton and completed his Diploma in Business Studies at Waikato Polytech.
Soon after, he was lured up to Auckland by a Thai man he'd befriended on a flight from Bangkok to NZ, who was then living in Auckland and studying at AIS. The pair have remained friends ever since.
"He told me that AIS was a great place to study so I decided to try it."
Supavat studied at AIS from 1995 to 1997 and gained his Bachelor of International Business there before going on to Massey University to start his Masters Degree.
The contrast between AIS and Massey was marked.
"At AIS the teachers are all really helpful and positive. They're there when you need them - we can even call them at home. I found they really try and understand your point of view and they're quite flexible. They understand that for some of us English is our second language so our grammar may not be perfect, and they help us with that. That would never happen at university.
"The other good thing about AIS is the small class sizes. You get lots of individual attention and also students never need to be worried about raising their hands and asking questions. That can be quite scary and embarrassing in a university lecture of hundreds of students but at AIS you know all your classmates so you don't need to feel shy. This is a really important point because you need to be able to understand things fully before you can go away and do self-study, so you need to feel comfortable asking questions."
"The pace at Massey is a lot faster. You can't hold a lecture up to ask questions. And in group assignments, the groups are a lot bigger so you don't get as much benefit from them."
Supavat spent a year studying full-time at Massey's Albany campus, gaining a Post-graduate Diploma in Management. He intended to complete his Masters there, however in 1999 he landed a great job as an office manager for the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok. He took the job and decided to continue his studies extra-murally. He hopes to complete his Masters at a later date.
Tongan born and educated Vaohoi Kona He 'Ulu 'O 'Aho'eitu Mo'unga was a student ambassador at AIS who graduated with a Bachelor of International Business with the help of an ...
Tongan born and educated Vaohoi Kona He 'Ulu 'O 'Aho'eitu Mo'unga was a student ambassador at AIS who graduated with a Bachelor of International Business with the help of an AIS scholarship.
Vaohoi chose AIS because of the smaller classes compared to other institutes. She also enjoyed the multi-cultural environment and the fact that people are friendly. At AIS Vaohoi fully participated in the school spirit, she was in the Tongan Association, the Student Association and the tennis club. Her favourite memory was co-hosting an AIS cultural evening.
Vaohoi believes the skills and knowledge she gained studying will be useful in her life. “If you want to be successful in your life and get what you want and can afford it, this is the only way. You need to educate yourself to the highest level to be able to achieve this.”
Vaohoi describes AIS as like being in a big family. “As a student, if you see the President, it is okay to say hi to him. You can also talk to the Directors if you want to. Their door is always open to students.”
Vaohoi's advice to others who are considering studying is to give it a go. “This is the only time. Do not leave it until it is too late. You only have one chance in life. Act on it.”
Aditya completed his Level 6 Diploma in Hospitality Operations Management at AIS in May 2014. Today he works full-time at Skycity in VIP Gaming Services as a food and beverage ...
Aditya completed his Level 6 Diploma in Hospitality Operations Management at AIS in May 2014. Today he works full-time at Skycity in VIP Gaming Services as a food and beverage gaming attendant serving Platinum and Black status players at EIGHT, Platinum Room and VIP Black.
“My parents always wanted me to be a doctor, but back in the days I used to imagine this glamorous world of hospitality whenever I used to go to fancy hotels. That’s what I wanted to do. And they supported me. It’s just that I’m a people person. I love people.”
Aditya is originally from Jammu and Kashmir, India. Having finished school he moved to Aurangabad to study for BA (Honours) in Hotel Management at the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM-A). Two years into the course he felt it wasn’t right.
“I always wanted to go abroad and study. I wanted to go to an environment which was a little laid back and allowed me to do what I really wanted to do.”
New Zealand was an easy choice due to his agent’s recommendation, family consensus and further research:
“The more I discovered about New Zealand, the more I realised that this is where I really wanted to go: there’s a bit of wilderness, not too much noise, and it’s laidback.
“Now for the same price I’m actually getting overseas experience.”
Aditya originally enrolled at AIS in May 2014 to study Bachelor of Hospitality Management. Two weeks into his course at AIS he got picked up by SkyCity.
“My roommate applied at SkyCity through the SkyCity Careers website, he had been working there for a few months when I moved in. He asked me 'why don’t you try?'
“I went to the AIS Student Job Search Centre for help with my CV. It was really quick and I came out quite organised. Even though I didn’t have New Zealand work experience, my CV clearly said exactly what I’ve done in the past and it matched what they were looking for at the time.”
Aditya got two scholarships in his two years at AIS; Academic Merit and Academic Excellence.
“It was the best thing I ever had! I had never got scholarships in my life before!”
At the end of his second year he took the Level 6 Diploma qualification as an exit route from BHM to allow for more hours at SkyCity.
“As a bartender I attend the niche market of SkyCity. Our main objective is host responsibility. We are the only place in New Zealand where alcohol is served 24/7 right now and we have been trained in a very professional manner on how to treat guests. At times there is zero tolerance even if you spend 100 million dollars.”
We asked Aditya if his studies at AIS relate to his current position at SkyCity.
“Of course! In a lot of ways. Specifically, food and beverage service operations, and food and beverage management. Both are similar to what I am doing right now.
“Business Communication gave me a lot of confidence. I never used to think I had good enough English to communicate. I now work with people from many nationalities – for some, eye contact is okay, some not – that’s what I was taught, and also how to maintain relationships with colleagues.
“I can relate to a lot of subjects, but it happens within a flick of a second. Hospitality is not all about the books.
“My marketing lecturer was straight forward with how things actually work in the real environment, outside of the books. And the Academic Head of Programme also gave us advice on how to climb the hierarchy ladder and how things actually work in the real world. He knows his stuff.”
We asked Aditya if he would recommend AIS.
“I would certainly recommend AIS! AIS helped me develop and gave me independence.
“This country has given me a lot. Every morning I wake up and there’s always some plan of action – I never used to know what my timetable was for the day, but now I have a very organised life.”
Aditya is planning to complete his Bachelor Degree in the near future.
“I need my degree. It means something. And thanks to my diploma and job at SkyCity, I will pay for it with my own money. I’ve got part of it saved up already.”
“I want to be a manager and eventually I want to own my own restaurant.”
My journey into the IT industry started at AIS. The quality and practical aspects of the programme were the reasons I chose to study the Bachelor of Information Technology. The programme ...
My journey into the IT industry started at AIS. The quality and practical aspects of the programme were the reasons I chose to study the Bachelor of Information Technology.
The programme offered me a great opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the IT industry affects society, and practical skills in the IT field. The knowledge and skills I gained at AIS helped me develop confidence, which in turn enabled me to secure a good position with one of the most promising IT companies in Auckland.
A large part of my success can be attributed to my lecturers who were very supportive throughout my studies at AIS.
Rieko completed her Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at AIS in December 2010. She is currently working as a software engineer at a large New Zealand-based software development company, Olympic ...
Rieko completed her Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at AIS in December 2010. She is currently working as a software engineer at a large New Zealand-based software development company, Olympic Software. Rieko is involved in developing a complex online platform for Countdown Supermarkets as part of a long-term collaboration between Olympic Software, Woolworths Australia and Progressive Enterprises. Rieko had no prior experience in software development before she enrolled at AIS.
Rieko originally studied Law at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan. Shortly after graduating she took a position in sales at Mitsubishi UFJ Nikos (now part of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group), a large Japanese credit company. Three years later Rieko changed jobs to work as a project manager for Yahoo Japan. This role brought her closer to IT, but not as a developer.
Due to the nature of her role, Rieko often worked twelve hours a day, five days a week; sometimes she worked extra on the weekends. This put a lot of stress on her and her husband.
“The Japanese work environment is very stressful. We go to work around 10am and you go back home around 10-11pm Monday to Friday. Sometimes you need to work more than that. It's a lot of stress.”
During her fifth year at Yahoo Japan, Rieko started to seriously consider moving overseas in search of a better work environment. Having found the U.S. too strict, Canada too cold and Australia too big, she settled on New Zealand as the most beautiful and serene destination. Auckland, being the largest city in New Zealand, seemed like a good place to stay.
Looking to start a career in software development, Rieko enrolled at AIS in September 2009 to study GDIT via the English for Academic Purposes Stage II (EAP II) pathway.
AIS was the only tertiary education provider she could find with a native Japanese counsellor on campus and this helped her gain the confidence to speak English. The twelve weeks she spent in the EAP class helped her learn to write academic English. Rieko passed the internal English test at AIS and went on to study for GDIT.
“The GDIT is short and after graduating I could get a post-study work visa. It’s good to study just one year and get offered a work visa.
“I wanted to do the GDIT and learn about software development and then change my career to a developer. I studied law but luckily with the GDIT, it doesn’t matter what you’ve study previously.”
Thanks to her GDIT, Rieko achieved a deeper understanding of IT and learned to take a structural approach to development.
“I had never studied IT before; I kind of learned through work experience. After finishing the GDIT, I can think about it more deeply. It’s good to learn about databases. This was a very good turning point for me. After the databases class, I think about database structure before programming.”
Rieko applied for a software engineer position at Olympic Software towards the end of her final semester at AIS. One month and two interviews later she joined as a full-time staff member. Later in the year, Olympic Software supported her application for permanent residency. Rieko then supported her husband’s application. Both now live in Auckland and work full-time as developers.
“If you try hard, you can get a lot from this GDIT programme.”
Dmitriy completed his Graduate Diploma in Information Technology (Software Development) at AIS in December 2011. He now works as a junior developer at Foster Moore, a dedicated registry development company ...
Dmitriy completed his Graduate Diploma in Information Technology (Software Development) at AIS in December 2011. He now works as a junior developer at Foster Moore, a dedicated registry development company based in Auckland.
Dmitriy received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Perm State University, Russia, in 2009 and spent the next 2 years working as a tester for Prognoz, an international business intelligence software vendor. While at Prognoz, he worked on several high-profile projects for large organisations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and 3M. At the same time Dmitriy was also studying for his master’s degree. Early in 2010, realising his growth potential within the IT industry, Dmitriy started to look for opportunities overseas.
“My city was not enough for me, I wanted something more. I wanted a change of environment and my parents gave me a chance to go overseas.”
New Zealand was an easy choice due to the country’s booming IT sector, easy-going lifestyle and unique environment.
“I was confident I’d get a job in New Zealand: I’ve got experience from Russia and I knew I’m quite capable in what I’m doing.”
“New Zealand is way more relaxed. I like the lifestyle. It’s a very easy-going country and that’s what I really like in here; that and of course the nature.”
Dmitriy was looking to start a career in software development and needed a relatively short and a practical course:
“I needed something which will specialise me in development, in a year.”
Having visited the offices of his local agent in Russia, Dmitriy had a choice of 4 Auckland education providers.
”I chose AIS. One reason was price. AIS was also much more practical. I just haven’t really seen anything as appropriate for me as in AIS.”
The next year Dmitriy spent learning a specific set of practical skills required to start a successful career in software development:
“I learned test cases. I’ve never done them in my previous job. The first couple of months at Foster Moore I was just doing test cases. Also I learned databases. I’ve had 4 subjects in databases. That definitely helped me because now I’m working as a developer and I always work with views and indexes. And of course OOP, object-oriented programming, I got it all from there. That was the reason why I chose AIS – because I really wanted to learn some skills.”
Dmitriy finished his GDIT in late 2011. After a short trip back to Russia he set out to find employment within the IT sector: it only took a month.
“I got a list of all IT companies in New Zealand and sent them emails. Foster Moore was one of the first to respond. I came to the interview and almost immediately I was hired into a full-time permanent role.”
Dmitriy has now settled into his permanent role at Foster Moore, got his New Zealand residency and is looking to further specialize in software development.
Would Dmitriy recommend AIS?
“Yes, for sure. Especially if you need a specialisation and you already know what you want, then AIS would be a good choice. Good value for money and good quality. AIS gives you enough knowledge and a good degree to find a job.”
Kalolaine completed her Bachelor of Tourism Management at AIS in December 2012 and currently works at Pasifika Consulting, an Auckland-based employment support agency, as an employment placement officer. Originally from Nuku’alofa, ...
Kalolaine completed her Bachelor of Tourism Management at AIS in December 2012 and currently works at Pasifika Consulting, an Auckland-based employment support agency, as an employment placement officer.
Originally from Nuku’alofa, Tonga, Kalolaine first got a taste of New Zealand education at a young age, while studying at Auckland Girls Grammar School. She later returned to Tonga and worked full-time as a check-in agent at Fua’amotu International Airport; this was her first ever job and her first exposure to customer service. While working at the airport, Kalolaine studied evenings at the University of South Pacific to complete her Diploma in Management Studies. To add to the busy schedule, it was around this time that she also started a family.
Having worked in customer service for four years, and having gained her management qualification, Kalolaine moved on to work as an office administrator for Nautilus Minerals Tonga, an underwater mineral exploration company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Two years later, on work leave, she took her family to New Zealand for a vacation.
“That’s when we started thinking. We decided to continue on with my studies to have a better future not only for myself, but for my children and my family.”
Kalolaine enrolled at AIS in May 2011 by cross-crediting her previous qualification from the University of South Pacific. Her husband came along and worked in New Zealand to support her studies paying by instalments; the kids stayed back in Tonga and were looked after by her family. It wasn’t easy.
“I didn’t know I was going to make it. It was hard financially and emotionally.
“The supportive environment at AIS helped me strive and succeed in my studies; and thinking of my kids and my background is what encouraged me to do well.”
She studied BTM for one and a half years instead of the regular three thanks to cross credits.
“It was a good experience for me. I had previous customer service experience, but studying the BTM helped me develop my skills further. It enabled me to work better with customers and unlock my full potential.”
Upon graduating, Kalolaine began her search for work. This didn’t last long. Her cousin recommended that she apply for a position at Pasifika Consulting.
“I said, well, I’ll just give it a try.
“They called me the next day and told me to come in for an interview.”
She passed the interview stage. The next step was to give a presentation. Luckily, Kalolaine already had a lot of experience at AIS.
“I didn’t expect to have to give a presentation, but it was easy for me because of what I’d learned at AIS.
“It was the highlight of my interview. They hadn’t seen anyone with the skills and confidence that I had when I presented, and I got the job.
“When I talked with the interviewers later, they said most people who come for an interview don’t do well at the presentation stage. But AIS equipped me well with what I needed to know.”
Six months into her employment, Kalolaine asked the company to help her with a job offer.
“The answer I got was yes. I could do it straight away. I got my residency before my job search visa expired."
Her husband also has a stable job and now their two children have joined them in New Zealand.
“Now that I’m here, all the hard work has been worth it.”
Originally from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Faisal came to New Zealand as a companion to his sister. The Saudi government awarded his sister a scholarship for higher education studies in New ...
Originally from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Faisal came to New Zealand as a companion to his sister. The Saudi government awarded his sister a scholarship for higher education studies in New Zealand, and part of the funds covered Faisal’s English studies for one year. Having tried AIS General English for three months, Faisal extended to one year.
The decision to choose New Zealand was made simple:
“I was offered me the opportunity to go to New Zealand. If you want a good job, study in New Zealand because New Zealand universities are very, very good.”
Faisal chose AIS for himself and his sister after a recommendation from friends.
“All my friends told me – if you want good English language in New Zealand, go to AIS.
“There are not many Saudi students at AIS. In the city there are lots of Saudi students. They all speak Arabic, all the time. But students at AIS come from different countries – everyone speaks English everywhere.”
Faisal and his sister live with a homestay family close to AIS. Both are enjoying their stay in New Zealand.
“I have a best friend who is Kiwi. The New Zealand weather is nice, the people are friendly, nice shopping and … everywhere I go, everything is good. I like staying in New Zealand. The first three months I felt sad, but now I don’t want to go to any other country.”
I chose to study with AIS for a number of reasons, the main one being that it is a very well-established language school in Auckland. My mother has taught here ...
I chose to study with AIS for a number of reasons, the main one being that it is a very well-established language school in Auckland. My mother has taught here for some 10 years, which is a strong recommendation. The joy of being able to help others learn and build confidence, coupled with my interest in other cultures, particularly those that are East Asian, led me to enrolling in the AIS CertTESOL programme. I have recently become a new mother, so I wanted to create more opportunities for my future.
I had a great experience at AIS. The eight-week fulltime programme really suited me, as intensive study is what I like. My experience was very positive. I had very experienced and down-to-earth tutors whose insight and knowledge was of great use. The practical aspect of the CertTESOL programme forced us as new teachers to try and give it a go, and in doing so we progressed a lot faster. I now work for AIS as a relief teacher, as well as freelance English teaching to international students here in Auckland.
I recommend AIS. First and foremost the staff are all amazingly hospitable and approachable, as are the students. The array of cultures together in every class means the classes are interesting, with their own dynamic. There’s a lot of help readily available for newcomers, too. I absolutely recommend this school to anyone willing to learn.
A local education agent in Japan recommended that Tomoko study English in New Zealand because it’s safe for women and young students. The agent also recommended AIS due to the ...
A local education agent in Japan recommended that Tomoko study English in New Zealand because it’s safe for women and young students. The agent also recommended AIS due to the variety of courses we offer.
“AIS has other courses and offers a choice. My friend went to another school and didn’t have many choices.”
At first Tomoko found that studying English at AIS was hard.
“At first I couldn’t listen, I didn’t understand. I was a bit shocked! Studying English in Japan was easy, but at AIS it was not easy …”
Luckily, having the support of her teachers and friends, coupled with the all-around English-speaking environment of AIS and of New Zealand, helped her settle in and feel comfortable. Tomoko advanced from intermediate to upper intermediate level in just under two months and took EAP Stage I shortly after that.
“When I stayed there I had full-on days. I learned a lot. I improved my writing skills, reading skills, vocabulary … there are lots of opportunities to speak all the time.”
Nearing the end of her studies, Tomoko enrolled in a 12-week IELTS preparation course. Her latest test, undertaken in Japan, showed a high score equivalent to IELTS 7.0 and TOEIC 860.
“If I can speak English, I can communicate – and there’s no problem. If you have confidence, you can go anywhere.”