Jed Mark Del Castillo
Cagayan de Oro City
What made you choose Waikato?
I already have a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and after working for several years in the financial services industry, I thought that it was time for me to expand my horizons and gain new skills overseas, so I decided to pursue a master’s degree. When I was looking at my options, New Zealand was the only country that satisfied all of my criteria, and the University of Waikato offered the Master of Business Management programme. I thought that it would be a perfect fit for me, and I wanted to escape living in a crowded city for a while.
What were your first impressions of the campus/Hamilton?
I immediately thought the campus was amazing. The combination of natural elements and the university’s facilities made for a great learning and study environment. My favourite spots are the lakes where I like to take weekend walks.
What have you been doing with Tatua Dairy, and how does it relate to your study?
My internship with Tatua Dairy involves doing a market scan or research on six Southeast Asian countries. The company wanted to see if there were any opportunities for them to expand into the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. I did a general examination of the macro environment, or external factors that could affect the business, as well as the micro environment, like competitors, customers and distribution, in relation to the dairy industry.
This was a good experience for me as it highlighted the need to evaluate and familiarise myself with the environment. Working with Tatua was my first time in a New Zealand workplace, and it complemented my masters as I was able to use the theoretical frameworks I have learned in class and apply them to a real business scenario. My supervisor gave me direction and support all the way, and every week we had a catch-up either remotely or face-to-face so I could report on my progress and receive feedback.
How do you think your research will impact both Tatua, the University and the community?
I hope that the findings of my project give Tatua valuable insights on the markets I researched, and perhaps they can use it as a springboard to do a more extensive market exploration in those countries.
Highlight of your overall time here?
The highlight of my work with Tatua was touring their manufacturing plant. Given that my previous background was in financial services, the environment in Tatua was quite different. It was the first time I experienced zones where I had to wear personal protective equipment. The whole walkthrough was very unique and, as an outsider, it was a privilege to witness the inner workings of the dairy manufacturing process.
What are your plans for the future (once you complete your study)?
I have a three-year post-study work visa here in New Zealand, so I can gain a different, but complementary, working experience in a more developed and mature market. I’d like to use my newly gained skills to work for a New Zealand based company, where I can add value and contribute to the businesses’ growth. I love New Zealand as a country and its people because everyone is warm and friendly, and there are lots of unique places to visit.