Breadcrumbs

Siddhant Shirole

Employability Plus Programme

Key Info

Qualification(s):
  • Master of Business and Management
Achievement(s):
  • Gold level in Employability Plus Programme

Why did you choose to study this qualification at Waikato?

Upon finishing my Bachelor of Business Administration in India, I wanted to get out of the privileged environment of my home and travel, live alone, study, explore a new country and its culture. While doing some research online I stumbled upon the University of Waikato website, and as I read through the course every one of my boxes was ticked and I had a strong instinctive urge to be a part of the Waikato family. Regarding the course, it is a continuation of my studies and had all the aspects I’m interested in covered. The ranking and reputation of the University’s MBM also played a role in choosing this qualification. 12 papers, 180 points within one year seemed daunting to me but I love challenges.

What have been the highlights about studying at university?

The structure of this course is brilliant, all the papers are selected carefully. The teachings of one paper are relatable in another, and it is extremely well taught with the help of real-life situations faced by people. The lecturers bring enthusiasm and positive energy so students can engage and excel in their class. One thing that can’t be ignored as a highlight is the beautiful Hamilton campus. I have enjoyed each opportunity I’ve had to eat lunch around the lake, finishing assignments under a tree, take a run around the track and just some chill time with friends at the Village Green.

What job are you looking for after you finish studying?

After finishing studies, I will be looking to target mainly service providing organisations. With my acquired understanding of business and management aspects from the MBM, I feel ready to enter the competitive business world. Companies like Air NZ, Spark, Fonterra, ANZ, ASB, etc. would be great to work in. It would be the cherry on top if the job allows me to travel the world, for client presentations, meetings, and business expansion. I’d like a job which will allow me to better myself, while applying my skills to better the organisation as well.

What extra-curricular activities are you involved with? (i.e. clubs, sport, etc.)

I am involved with numerous activities including the Waikato Indian Students Community (WISC), Study Abroad Network (SAN), Waikato Micro-volunteering, Waikato Indoor Football Club, as a member of Unirec, Zumba, the Wellbeing Hub, and an active participant in the Employability Plus Programme (EPP).

What would you say to other students considering study at university?

The years you spend at university will be the best years of your life. The experience will be worth it, you will grow each day on an academic and personal level.  Just be open to everything, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and let the journey begin. Any kind of issue or problem you have the university has help and a dedicated team for support, you just need to ask. You will cherish the experience and memories forever.

How have you coped with studying off-campus during the Covid-19 restrictions?

Studying off-campus is a bit challenging as suddenly there is limited interaction with people face-to-face, and the activities you are used to do are not there anymore. That said, the lecturers have helped a lot with the online classes to make them more interactive and interesting, along with the assessments being a little lenient considering the situation. Other than that, having some time alone to rethink and revisit some material helps in clarification of your studies. Easy access to online material has made it quite simple.

Following on from the previous question, what has helped motivate you to study?

Well the motivation has largely come from thinking about my personal future as a part of this dynamic workforce. Also, the interest I have for these subjects makes me want to study. Looking at the giant efforts from our lecturers to make the best possible resources available has driven me to do my part of the process, which is to study.

How did you get involved in EPP?

On the first day of university, I saw a poster for EPP. I searched online and found heaps of information and reviews from alumni about it. Immediately I was interested in it, as I always intended to attend different events. EPP volunteering seemed like a wonderful channel to be a part of any event, as well as to get to know new people and expand my network.

What sort of activities have you taken part in?

Since the day I started on campus I have tried to be a part of as many events as possible with EPP. The setting up and pack down of events, supervising the play area, being stationed at the information desk guiding people around the event, serving delicious food, helping pack the welcome packets for new students; all these activities are part of campus events for O-week. Other than that, for community volunteering I’ve been a safety attendant and a linesman at a battery powered vehicle race. I also helped oversee the operations and ticket collection at a community circus event. I’ve attended numerous micro-volunteering events where we made greeting cards with heart-warming messages on them, and later distributed them to the rest homes around Hamilton.

What do you enjoy about it?

As mentioned above, this great variety of roles has given me the opportunity to socialise with a wide variety of people from various backgrounds. I enjoy spending time working with different people, getting to travel around town, meeting the locals who attend these events and socialising with them. It makes me feel productive, helps me to understand the culture here in New Zealand and makes me feel like a part of the community. This has not only increased the number of people I know or the number of people who know me, it has helped me to form genuine friendships. Above all, this work simply makes me feel better about myself and happy about the fact that I enjoyed what I did.

How do you feel it will help with job prospects and standing out to employers?

EPP provides you with a certificate at the end of your study, with a mention of each activity you have participated in. This will definitely help me stand out of the crowd when I start looking for my future job. Many employers now have dedicated volunteer programs included in their organisation, and showing that I have a keen interest in volunteering by looking at my EPP certificate will give me a competitive advantage. It will also mean I can talk about by EPP exxperiences in future interviews.


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