- Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours
- Te Paewai o Te Rangi Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement
- CFA Institute Research Challenge
- Waikato Management School Case Competition
Nathan Carrasco feels “absolutely fulfilled” with the experiences he’s enjoyed at Waikato while studying for his Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours degree. Now he’s looking forward to starting work as a graduate partnership banker at the Bank of New Zealand.
“The friendships I’ve made, the business opportunities I’ve been given; I can honestly say it’s something it’s something I never expected.”
A passionate environmentalist, Nathan had considered studying either ecology or medicine at university - until he was exposed to the incredible teaching style of Waikato’s economics lecturers at Open Day.
“I could see they really knew their stuff and were passionate about what they do, so it inspired me to go down that business and management pathway instead,” he says.
Top of the class
Born in Goa, India, Nathan’s family emigrated to Gisborne, New Zealand when he was two years old.
“It was really hard for my parents to uproot themselves and leave their family and friends behind to give us some of the opportunities they weren’t given in India. So they’re really over the moon for me and have always been fully supportive of my study decisions.”
Having achieved top marks at high school, Nathan was one of only 25 students to receive a $25,000 Te Paewai o Te Rangi Scholarship from the University of Waikato, which covered most of his fees and living costs.
“Once the scholarship came through, it was quite hard to turn down! I thought Waikato was the right place for me because it’s slightly smaller scale, so it’s really friendly and supportive. I liked the lecturers as well; their office was always open to have a chat.”
Understanding the world through data insights
With his keen brain for numbers, one of Nathan’s favourite papers in his BMS(Hons) degree was BUSAN205 Data Analytics with Business Applications.
“It’s a wonderful paper that sets Waikato people apart from other universities. It teaches you how to see relationships between data, and helps people make data-driven conclusions.”
Nathan also enjoyed an honours-level paper taught by Professor Jake Rose, MNMGT513 Data-Informed Decision-Making, which shows students how to analyse and visualise data in new ways - using Microsoft’s Power BI - to provide fresh business insights and drive decision-making.
“That paper really ties everything together and gets you ready for the business world.”
Real-world business experiences
During his degree, Nathan joined a team of Waikato finance students at the CFA Institute Research Challenge; a global competition that provides real-world experience in financial analysis of stocks.
“You get given stocks in a listed company and have to provide a detailed report that recommends whether to buy, hold or sell stocks in that company,” he says.
“We worked closely with a mentor who showed us how to break down the company’s financials and do a proper competitive analysis, while using Capital IQ software.”
“Our team didn’t win the challenge, but I was super happy with the training and mentorship that we were given, applying those theoretical skills to that practical environment.”
Nathan was then invited to do an economics summer internship at the Commerce Commission in Wellington, working on a data analytics project.
“It was a really cool experience living in Wellington for four months and learning what it was like to be an economist in the public sector. I had a lot of fresh ideas, so they got me to build pricing models for the electricity sector.”
“Every day you’re discussing economic policy in a critical way; with the objective of bettering the lives of everyday people across New Zealand.”
WMS Case Competition
“It was absolutely phenomenal, I felt a bit out of my depth at first, but that paper was something else. You have to come up with a business growth strategy for a real New Zealand company. It’s quite a daunting thing, but you learn how to work in a team and get out of it as much as you put in.”
“We really hit it off as a team and developed a great bond. We looked at competitors in the same industry, had to understand potential costs and estimate prices, and think about how our strategy would work in practice.”
“Like any group project, you also learn how to deal with people working under stress; how to give and receive feedback, and how to present to judges and answer questions on the fly. We all took away some amazing skills from that challenge.”
Headed for a bright future
Nathan will start his new job at Bank of New Zealand in February 2022, after being selected for their graduate programme.
“I’ll be paired up with a senior associate and a business partner so I can learn from them how to structure finance deals, do lending and underwriting, and work with business clients to deliver products that best meet their financial needs.”
“Chasing money is definitely not my main goal in life; I just want to learn the basics and then see where I can specialise. As long as I work hard and seize the opportunities I’ve been given, hopefully that will put me on the right track.”