Ayesha Saeed

Ayesha Saeed

Born in Pakistan and raised in Sudan, 19-year-old Ayesha Saeed arrived in New Zealand ready to kick off her international education at the University of Waikato in Tauranga.


University of Waikato Tauranga Campus Bursary Award; Golden Key International Honor Society; Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Best Marketing Trade Show Pitch and Presentation 2020 Tauranga; MRKTG101 Marketing Trade Show People’s Choice Award

Ayesha Saeed

It was 2019 when Ayesha touched down in Aotearoa - 15,000km from home - primed to begin studying for a Bachelor of Business (BBus) degree, with a double major in Strategic Management and Supply Chain Management.

“I was scared and so far from home, but I’m glad I did it,” Ayesha says.

“My dad wanted me to go to New Zealand because it is safe and because the University of Waikato’s Management School (WMS) has Triple Crown accreditation, and its rankings are very high, so he encouraged me to go for it.”

The WMS is ranked #1 in New Zealand for Business & Economics in the 2022 Times High Education World University Subject Rankings and is positioned in the top one per cent of business schools globally.

Two years into her degree, Ayesha landed a cadetship role at the Port of Tauranga, thanks to the work-integrated learning paper in her BBus degree, which three months later turned into a permanent job at the port as a terminal operator.

“My supply chain lecturer, Dr Cécile L'Hermitte, put my name forward and I’ve been with them ever since.”

Ayesha says the relationships she made with her professors, tutors and fellow students made for an easy transition into New Zealand tertiary education.

“The formatting, grading and referencing were so different from what I was used to, so I had to get accustomed to this, but everyone helped me throughout my degree and allowed me to reach the high standards of grades I set for myself.”

There were some familiarities from back home.

“Tauranga was the closest place to life in Sudan, it had somewhat warmer temperatures and was easy to get familiar with. The major difference was the fact I was so close to a beach.”

Ayesha was also a resident assistant (RA) at the Mayfair Studios during her second year and then during the summer in the Selwyn Street Studios, where she was able to make friends and explore more of New Zealand.

“When I came here, I wasn’t sure if being an RA was a good idea, but I went for it and I’m glad I did it.”

Ayesha was also the recipient of a number of scholarships and awards, including the University of Waikato Tauranga Campus Bursary Award, the Mayfair Court Residential Scholarship, the MRKTG101 Marketing Trade Show People’s Choice Award, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Best Marketing Trade Show Pitch and Presentation 2020 Tauranga. Based on her high academic grades, she was also invited to join the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Ayesha Saeed

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