Next week’s graduation will be special for Golden Jubilee Scholar Anna Caudwell, who will graduate without a student loan and with a long list of academic and personal achievements to look back on: making the STMG Case Competition finals, topping an Accounting paper and becoming the Hamilton regional manager of Inspiration Education Limited.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Management Studies, the Wellington-born student will return to her hometown for her dream grad role with Ernst & Young.
What made you choose to study at the University of Waikato?
I wanted to go somewhere away from home to get me out of my comfort zone. Hamilton is relatively affordable in terms of costs of living and the Golden Jubilee scholarship put Waikato on my radar as the perfect university.
How did the Golden Jubilee Scholarship make a difference for you?
The scholarship has literally changed my life. It motivated me to try harder in my studies and even when things were tough, giving up was never an option. It also gave me more opportunities and helped me to get involved with extra-curricular activities on campus. With assistance from the scholarship, family support and part-time work while studying, I will be graduating loan-free!
Which university clubs were you involved with?
I have been actively involved in the Waikato University Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting society on campus. I was the Treasurer in 2017 and became President this year. I have also been involved in social netball at UniRec for the last two years.
What was the highlight of your time at University?
Attending the Beta Alpha Psi annual conference in Washington DC in August. I was also selected to participate in a case competition alongside American students I had never met before. It was an amazing experience.
How has the University prepared you for your future?
The business degree at Waikato involves so much group work which helps you learn how to work with others to achieve a common goal, rather than competing against others – I think this aligns really well with working in the real world. The numerous presentations in almost every paper also help with building confidence and you get a good amount of feedback so you’re able to improve.
Do you have any advice for future Waikato students?
Waikato has been a great experience and I have met so many great people! I highly recommend going into Halls of Residence in your first year – I came to Waikato knowing only one other person and, thanks to the halls, I made a lot more friends who I have flatted with and studied with.
Plus, try get involved in clubs or groups on campus. There are so many to choose from and there will be one to suit everyone. It can be really cool to do something other than just your studies – and it looks really good on your CV.
Anna is one of 1382 University of Waikato students graduating this December. There are two ceremonies at Claudelands on Tuesday 11 December, another two on Wednesday 12 December, and two ceremonies at Te Kohinga Marae on the University campus on Friday 14 December.