Tom Leslie

Why did you decide to study a Bachelor of Business at Waikato?

I wanted to study business because it’s an area that has always interested me; it opens the door to a lot of different career options, so you’re not confined to one specific job.

My family runs a logging business in Whangarei, and when I left high school I started up my own labour contracting business. Then I went overseas and lived in the United States for a year, before deciding that I wanted to study business.

When I started looking at Waikato’s Bachelor of Business, I thought it looked like a good option for me. It gives you a taste of all the different subjects through the core papers in first year, and then you can decide what you want to major in.

I chose to study at Waikato because I had a good community of friends already living in Hamilton, and the rent prices aren’t too high compared to Auckland. My girlfriend was studying to become a teacher at Waikato too, and we got married at the beginning of this year.

How did you choose your subject majors?

I had an idea that I’d study accounting, but I wasn’t 100% set on it until I came to university. I don’t necessarily want to become an accountant, but I think it’s a really useful skillset to have in any business role. Eventually I’d like to do my own thing and start my own business.

One of my favourite papers so far has been Economics 101, because the lecturer is so engaging. He gets us thinking about real-world problems you will come across in life, which economics can help us to understand and solve.

What do you think of your university experience so far?

I’d definitely recommend Waikato’s Bachelor of Business to anyone who is interested in coming here. It’s going well so far, and I’m confident it’s giving me the skills I need to find a job when I graduate. One of the good things about doing group projects is that you meet new people.

I spend most of my time on campus; it’s got a pretty relaxed vibe that’s different to being in the middle of a big city like Auckland. I like hanging out in the Student Centre.

I’m excited about doing my internship paper next year, which provides a gateway into the workforce, and that’s a real plus of studying at Waikato Management School. Ideally I’d like to work for a larger organisation where I can get some experience and guidance, and learn some useful skills.

Can you tell us about your interest in Chinese?

I’m taking a minor in Chinese because I thought it was a great opportunity to learn a new language and position myself for where the future of global markets are going. I think it complements accounting well and gives me a point of difference to other graduates.

It’s interesting to learn about the culture of China as well. Last year I got the opportunity to go on a two-week study tour of Beijing through the Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPE), and it was a great experience. We had intensive Chinese language classes through Peking University every day, as well as visiting attractions like the Great Wall of China.

Tom Leslie