Breadcrumbs

Student gains international business experience via University trip to Vietnam

19 December 2019

Sidney-Rei Te Maungarongo Stoneham at the New Zealand Consulate General
Sidney-Rei Te Maungarongo Stoneham at the New Zealand Consulate General

The reality of entering an international market and the impact innovation has on economies was brought home to Accounting Major, Sidney-Rei Te Maungarongo Stoneham, on a recent trip to Vietnam.

Sidney was part of the University of Waikato’s, Te Hononga-ā-Kiwa (THaK), programme, designed for Māori business students to improve Māori business, capability, awareness and engagement in the Asia, Pacific region.

Since 2018, The University of Waikato has delivered Te Hononga-ā-Kiwa on behalf of the North Asia (NACAPE), the Southeast Asia (SEACAPE) and the Latin America (LATAMCAPE) Centre’s for Asia Pacific Excellence.

Originally from Matata in the Bay of Plenty, Sidney says she joined the University because of the reputation of its Management School and its focus on Māori students through programmes like THaK.

Sidney had been studying at Waiariki Institute of Technology, but a contract between the Institute and the University meant cross crediting papers was easy and the process didn’t cost her anything.

“THaK was highly valuable to me as I now have real international experience under my belt, at no cost. I took many valuable lessons away from the trip to Vietnam, both personally and professionally, including the relationships created both within the cohort and in Vietnam,” she said.

Her involvement in the programme has helped grow her networks with Maori business leaders throughout New Zealand and he said and the trip to Vietnam allowed her to broaden her economic knowledge and learn more about the rapid growth of the Vietnamese economy over the past few years.

“I believe this will be very fruitful information to share with colleagues in order to come up with ideas that could be implemented into Māori space to encourage growth in the Māori economy,” she said.

A highlight of the trip to Vietnam was attending the Hanoi Innovation Summit, an annual convention held at the Vietnam National Convention Centre in Ha Noi. The event attracts more than 100 speakers, 3000 attendees and over 100 start-up tech businesses.

The summit covered different themes including the environment, mobility and logistics, life science, future of work, consumers and smart cities.

“I was blown away at some of the cool, hip and innovative startups, it was also great to hear about what it was like for them to enter the market with a new idea. We also learnt about the challenges that they faced at this time.”

The trip also helped give Sidney cultural insight to the ethnic minority in Vietnam, learnings about life in a country with a different political structure and understanding of Vietnamese business etiquette and an illustration of the impact that innovation has on the economy.

She encourages other students to apply for the THaK programme and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

“The application process itself is super simple and doesn’t require much aside from a two-minute video. Put some effort behind the content of your application and video and you are good to go,” she said.

Sidney will begin a graduate role with KPMG as a financial auditor in 2020 and then plans to start progressing towards her Chartered accounting qualification.

Latest stories

Related stories

The women's team pursuit celebrate victory at the UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong.

Gold for three Hillary Scholars in Hong Kong

Three Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars from the University have won gold at the Tissot UCI…

Garth Tunnicliffe

Management student selected for Asia trip in a bid to pitch big business idea

A managerial role at McDonald’s led 28-year-old Garth Tunnicliffe to study a Master of Management…

Ma Boyong

Famous Chinese literary genius got his inspiration from Waikato

When Ma Boyong first stepped foot on New Zealand soil in back in 2001, he…

Ally Wollaston is interviewed about her win

Waikato student wins elite cycling title ahead of world cup

Student Ally Wollaston claims first place ahead of cycling world cup

Jessica Pasisi

Research aims to shed light on health and wellbeing of Niuean people

Waikato University PhD student, Jessica Pasisi, is seeking to better understand the mental health and…

MBA students visit South America

This year's MBA International Study Tour is heading to Chile to investigate opportunities for New…

STEM Fest

Uni campus hosts STEM Festival in Tauranga

As a main sponsor of the country's first world-class STEM Festival (STEMFest) event, the University…

Master of Management Studies alumnus now Director of Digital Business at Barclays

By catching onto the internet early, Adrian Smith has built a breadth of knowledge and…

crowd

Public support for union default

A new survey of nearly 1500 New Zealanders shows the majority support a union default…

Eva Collins

Significant partnerships

New University Councillor Eva Collins says governance depends on effective partnership.

tradeunion

A call for change in voluntary unionism

Academics suggest a union default, enacted in law, will help address rising income inequality.

University of Waikato climbs international rankings

For the sixth year running, the University of Waikato has climbed up the QS World…