Kanj Patel

Kanj Patel

Kanj now works as an auditor for PwC New Zealand, auditing a range of listed and large private clients in several industries such as forestry, cannabis, electricity, and retail.

Auditor at PwC New Zealand

Student ambassador, Student advisor

Kanj Patel

Kanj Patel’s family sacrificed a lot when they immigrated to New Zealand 20 years ago.

He was just three years old when his family left India, ready to start their new life in Auckland, before moving to Hamilton in 2006.

“My parents moved to New Zealand for a better life and wanted to give me better opportunities as the education system and future prospects of New Zealand was much better than India at the time,” Kanj says.

On September 7, Kanj will graduate from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (First Class Honours) (BMS(Hons), majoring in Accounting with a minor in Finance and Leadership Communication and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), majoring in Law.

It’s an achievement that would typically take just over six years to complete, but Kanj did it in only four.

“I completed both four-year degrees in only four years and obtained First Class Honours in my management degree. I needed to get on the gas and get it done as fast as possible.”

Kanj will celebrate his success with his family as he stands centre-stage in his graduation gown and cap at Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton. Kanj has been chosen as the student speaker for his graduation ceremony.

“It feels like a long time coming but I am genuinely very excited. Graduation is important for me because my family sacrificed a lot to immigrate to New Zealand, and graduation is huge for me and my whole family.”

Kanj says his parents’ qualifications weren’t recognised when they arrived in New Zealand, so they had to work in labour jobs to get by.

“Dad went from being a civil engineer in India, and mum a housewife with an IT and economics  degree, to both working full-time in an industry they were unfamiliar with.

“At the time Dad couldn’t afford to retrain, so they did what they had to do to working on minimum wage to provide for the family. They’ve been amazing and I owe a lot to them.”

After leaving Hamilton Boys’ High School with NCEA Level 3, Kanj started a health science degree at the University of Otago but decided to pull the pin early as it wasn’t something he enjoyed.

He returned to Hamilton and enrolled at the University of Waikato, working closely with academics to speed up the process.

“I loved my time at university; I worked as a student ambassador at a range of events, expos, and high schools. This meant I was able to help future students better understand their options for study.

“I also worked as a student advisor where I was able to help current students with a range of enquiries such as fees, enrolment, visas and general support.

The standouts in his degree include industry lectures, marketing trade shows, mooting, negotiation competitions, and presentations. Kanj says Professor David McKie, who taught leadership communication, gave him the confidence to do it, helping him transform his public speaking ability.

“Make the most out of every opportunity, because ultimately your time at university is what you make of it.”

Kanj Patel

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