International alumnus now “living his dream” thanks to studies at Waikato

11 October 2021

International alumnus Parth Patel says the University of Waikato propelled him to his dream career in supply chain management.

Parth Patel grew up in Western India within the state of Gujarat, in the city of Vadodara. Here, he spent his high school years following his interests by learning the inner workings of successful businesses. These thoughts occupied most of his time, and served as motivation for progressing his career in supply chain management.

After creating a small start-up business of his own in India, Parth’s interest turned into a passion, and he started to think more about furthering his knowledge of the supply chain and logistics world through further study.

“I started searching for institutions providing supply chain courses, and after thorough research, reading alumni stories, and the course outline, the University of Waikato stood out to me,” says Parth.

“Knowing that the Waikato Management School is a top management school and the University of Waikato is in the top 500 out of more than 3000 universities in the world, I decided to apply and turn my dream into reality.”

Prior to starting his studies at Waikato, Parth had already completed a Bachelor of Business in Commerce in 2016, majoring in auditing and finance at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. In order to expand his existing knowledge, he chose to do a Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Management at the University of Waikato in 2018.

“The anxiety of being exposed to a whole new education system just vanished when I attended my first lecture. What an experience! Every lecture was worth attending and they were the most interactive sessions I have ever had in my entire academic career.”

Parth says his favourite lecturer was Dr Cecile L'Hermitte, senior lecturer in supply chain management, and that her influence has made a great impact on his career to date.

The University’s campus acted as Parth’s second home. Only living a short five-minute walk away, he would spend the majority of his time in the library studying, then head to Momento café to join his friends at their usual hang-out spot. “I met heaps of people from different cultures and got to know them well, some have even become life-long friends,” he says.

He also worked part-time during his studies at a local supermarket, where he was offered the position of inventory control manager after graduating. That gave him the kick-start he needed to explore his supply chain career further.

Now, Parth works for his dream employer, a multinational corporation named Bidfood NZ (Bidcorp), as a dry goods (grocery) buyer and packaging specialist. Prior to this he worked in various key supply chain roles within New Zealand supermarkets, including inventory manager, warehouse operations manager and buyer.

Looking back on his university experience and the progress he has made, Parth believes his success lies largely in his qualification and the experience he gained at Waikato. “I am living my dream and one day hope to come back to the University of Waikato for a further qualification.

“I hope I can inspire other international students and help them believe they can achieve their dreams too.”

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