Alapan Roy Chowdhury
Kolkata - India
What made you choose Waikato?
When I decided to come to New Zealand for further study, I discovered that the University of Waikato was ranked in the world's top 200 universities for Business and Management Studies in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2018.
The University has also been awarded a five star rating by QS. Waikato Management School has held Triple Crown Accreditation too; it is included in the top 1% of all business schools globally. It was my dream to study in such an institution!
Moreover, the MBM provides important basic skills to beginners like me. It is a one-year course, which is another advantage.
What were your first impressions of the campus?
One of the factors that made me choose New Zealand as my destination was the clean and green image of the country. When I first came to the campus, I thought that the poetry of William Wordsworth has come to life here at Waikato. The environment reminded me of my college (where I studied my bachelor’s degree), which was based on an eco-farm.
You’re working with Gallagher as part of your degree. Can you give us an overview of what it’s like working there, how it relates to your study, and what your experience has been like?
I am working as a Market Insights Programme (MIP) intern for Gallagher. I help to identify market segments for security and sustainability-based livestock management products for Gallagher in South-East Asia.
I really enjoy working under the Chief Financial Officer of Gallagher, Simon Graafhuis, who is my supervisor. Simon has been very generous in sharing his knowledge and insights, and supporting me throughout my project. I am getting practical business and market knowledge, and have found his experience and expertise valuable. During the process, I have been able to apply the knowledge I gained from some of my MBM papers, like strategic management and marketing.
Apart from that, the field-trips, seminars and academic lunch sessions also add to the value and weight of this internship, and it has complemented the knowledge I received from the MBM course. The whole MIP team at the University’s Careers Office have also been really helpful throughout the internship.
How do you think your research will impact both Gallagher, the University and the community?
My research will help Gallagher determine which parts of South-East Asia may be favourable for expansion. I would love to share my experience with other university students who have the same or similar backgrounds, and I could also help in mentoring future MIP interns.
Highlight of your overall time here?
It's difficult to pick one, but I would say being an active volunteer while studying the MBM has been a big one. I became interested in volunteering after I learned about the University’s Employability Plus Programme. I have worked for various organisations such as the United Nations Association of New Zealand, Hamilton Police, The Salvation Army, New Zealand Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Dementia Waikato.
I have also been an intern and volunteer at Go Eco (Waikato Environment Centre). Volunteering has given me the satisfaction of helping the community of the country which has given me so much already. It has also helped me in exploring new and different roles, and gaining the experience of different work spaces in New Zealand.
Given my background is in humanities, I have faced some challenges in getting used to new MBM concepts. However, the programme has been a valuable learning experience, and has complemented my previous knowledge and skills.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to work full-time and as a volunteer in New Zealand after completing my study. I would like to give something back to the country by adding value to my workplace. With a deep passion for environmental sustainability, I would like to join an organisation as part of its sustainability team, or work in sustainability-based positions. As I have been a lecturer before, I also have a natural inclination towards teaching and mentoring, and academic administration and educational management.