Kay (Kajol) Thanki

Consultant - Minter Ellison - Auckland, NZ

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Management Studies
  • Bachelor of Laws with Honours
  • Accounting
  • Law
  • Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Latin America
  • University of Waikato Academic Merit School Leaver Scholarship

What made you choose to study at the University of Waikato?

It was a well-rounded management programme that attracted me to the University of Waikato. I researched the Bachelor of Management Studies degree prior to making an application and really liked that it provided ample opportunity for students to get involved in practical experiences through industry placements or applied research where they could use the theoretical knowledge gained in a classroom setting to solve real business problems.

What’s your favourite subject and why?

Some of my favourite papers have been interactive, with a clear focus on commercial applicability. One of these was Strategic Management, where we worked in groups on case studies of real companies. We were asked to come up with a strategy to solve issues faced by the businesses and help them expand. This involved undertaking a lot of industry research, collaborating with diverse team members and working under significant time pressure – an experience that pushed me towards seeking a career in consulting.

What's been the highlight of your degree so far? 

The highlight of my degree was being able to travel through two overseas experiences. In my penultimate year, I was awarded the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Latin America through the Faculty of Law. This allowed me to travel with nine other students to study law in Chile. A few months later, I was offered a place on the Tertiary Market Immersion Programme 2019 which is funded by the Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence. On the programme, I travelled through Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore and had the chance to learn from and network with professionals working in New Zealand government offices in those regions as well as those working for successful multinational companies, including Facebook, PwC and Heineken. Both experiences were life-changing, have led to significant personal and professional development for me and expanded my horizons on where I can take my career.

What do you love about studying at Waikato?

One of the best things about studying at Waikato is the beautiful campus and the ease of living in Hamilton. The University is close to the city centre and a 20-minute drive away from home for me.

How have you changed in your time at Waikato?

My time at Waikato has been characterised by a lot of learning and personal growth. I’ve discovered what I’m passionate about, learned new skills and have been pushed outside of my comfort zone through experiences that I could never have imagined I would be a part of when I first started.

What’s your number one tip for making the most of uni life?

The most valuable opportunities exist outside the classroom. I’d encourage everyone to make the most of their time at uni by investing time into their personal development through joining clubs, gaining work experience, doing an overseas exchange and seeking out opportunities to network with prospective employers and peers as much as possible.

What do you plan on doing when you finish your degree?

I was fortunate to secure a graduate role with Deloitte prior to completing my studies and have just begun working as a consultant in their Tax & Private team.

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