For international student Guillermo William Revelo, New Zealand is no longer just a dream holiday destination, it’s now a place he calls home after successfully completing a Master of Business and Management at the University of Waikato.
Born in Venezuela, Guillermo moved to Ecuador aged 11, where he went on to study business at the Pontifical Catholic University in Quito. A few marketing jobs later, he decided to move to Hamilton to do a masters degree, drawn to the University of Waikato’s strong reputation and multicultural environment. A hands-on learner, Guillermo says he particularly enjoyed the practical papers because they enhanced his creativity and taught him to be an inquisitive and focussed leader.
“Studying at Waikato not only gave me academic knowledge, but it also helped me discover my potential as a leader and my passion for community work,” says Guillermo. “My time here will always be a defining moment in my life.”
Guillermo is one of 743 University of Waikato students graduating at three ceremonies in Hamilton this month.
What made you choose to study at the University of Waikato?
I’d always wanted to visit New Zealand. I chose to study here because of the Management School’s prestige, and the diversity among students and staff was a bonus – a perfect combination for me as an international student.
What’s been the highlight of your degree?
There have been many memorable moments but ultimately having the opportunity to work and interact with my classmates has definitely been a major highlight. Whether we were working on assignments, doing presentations or just having fun outside the classroom, I’m grateful for the time I spent with them. Even though many of us are on different paths now, I know I’ve made friends for life and I wish them the best.
How have you changed in your time at Waikato?
Being an international student at Waikato has been a life-changing experience for me. I’ve become more independent, more mature, and I’ve expanded my horizons in ways that I never thought I would.
What’s your number one tip for making the most of uni life?
Look for opportunities outside the classroom. Particularly for international students, I’d encourage you to be courageous and put yourselves out there because you can definitely make meaningful connections that will make your student experience a memorable one. I became an Employability Plus Programme (EPP) ambassador, which helped me gain practical skills through volunteering for the uni and external organisations.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan to stay in New Zealand to work in the not-for-profit sector or in community development. Being able to help people and give back to the community has fulfilled me during my time in New Zealand and I intend to keep doing it in the future.