Mikaela Medina

Mikaela Paradizo-Medina

Miakela's excellent grades saw her receive membership into the Golden Key International Honours Society.

Scholarship - Golden Key International Honours Society

Mikaela Medina

When Mikaela Paradizo-Medina found out she had to do an economics paper as a compulsory part of her degree in first year, she was “dreading it”.

“Little did I know when I stepped into that lecture theatre that I would be introduced to one of the things I love the most,” says Mikaela, 22, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Economics and Marketing from the University of Waikato in September 2022.

“My achievements in the subject stem from my love and passion for economics, its many theories, its ever-changing nature, and its relevance to everyday life.”

Waikato’s Management School is ranked as New Zealand’s top university for economics research quality (PBRF 2018), with the country’s highest concentration of world-class economists. The school also hosts a national economics forum each year, which attracts leading economists from the government and private sector.

Mikaela’s now studying for a Master of Management Studies degree, specialising in Economics, and has already secured postgraduate employment with PwC in Auckland next year as a consultant in the economics and finance team.

For Mikaela, graduation is an important day not only for her but also her family, who moved to New Zealand from Uruguay when she was three years old.

“With absolutely no knowledge of the English language, my parents moved across the world leaving all their friends and family in the hopes of giving me a better future,” says Mikaela, who grew up in Matamata, attended Sacred Heart Girls’ College in Hamilton, and is the first in her family to graduate.

“This day is not only a symbol of all my hard work, long nights and dedication, but also a symbol and recognition of my parents’ sacrifices.”

She says that university pushed her to reach her potential, and she enjoyed getting involved in various aspects of student life.

Mikaela currently serves as Director for the Waikato Students’ Union (WSU), is an ambassador for Waikato Management School (WMS), and Vice-President of the Women in Business Association (WIBA).

Mikeala also enjoys tutoring marketing and economics papers at Waikato University, and in the past year has tutored eight undergraduate papers, teaching more than 150 students.

Mikaela advises future students to get involved in all aspects of university life.

“University is not only about studying and getting a degree. The people I have met and experiences I’ve had through clubs, events, boards are what have really made my time at Waikato special.”

She is also grateful for the support of her economics lecturers at Waikato Management School, including Dr Susan Olivia, Professor Anna Strutt, Associate Professor Michael Cameron; and marketing lecturer Dr Mark Buschgens..

“All of them have intriguing teaching methods which always kept me engaged"

My favourite paper was ECONS306 - Game Theory taught by Associate Professor Steven Tucker, another of my favourite lecturers, due to the exciting interactive aspect to his lectures.”

Mikaela Medina

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