Xiaokun Deng

Wuhan, Hubei Province - China

Key Info

What made you choose Waikato? 

Well, I really looked at the country first, then decided which island (North or South) I wanted to study in and what options each had for universities. I received offers from Auckland University and the University of Waikato, but I chose Waikato because I knew I wanted to study management and the MBM course fit my needs.

What were your first impressions of the campus/Hamilton?

The University has really lush surroundings. Overseas you don’t really see rural landscapes right next to University campuses. I’ve learned a lot through my course which has been valuable. Overall, the University is fantastic because of the resources available, including the help they provide through student services. The assistance you get as a student here exceeded my expectations.

Can you give us an overview of your work at AgriSea?

As part of studying an MBM, I undertook an internship at AgriSea. The company put forward nine research questions which were centered on market research for a product they wanted to launch in China.

I divided the project into two parts: research on the Chinese market, and product labelling and business strategising. I focused on the market research, and looked at the reasons why Chinese people would want to purchase the product developed by AgriSea.

What I did in the internship aligned with what I did in MBM, which was great.

What impact do you think your research had at AgriSea?

My research helped AgriSea identify whether iodine, one of the company’s unique selling points in the New Zealand market, may not work effectively in China because China is no longer an iodine deficient country.

My research also identified two market segments that can be targeted.  For now, AgriSea is still focusing on the domestic market, and is preparing for future expansion into the Chinese market, so my search provided a clear view on which direction AgriSea could take for overseas expansion.

What has been the highlight of your time at Waikato?

The University offers resources for international students to fit into local businesses – I think that’s what I liked most.

What was your experience like working, and being a part of, the CAPEs programme?

It was fantastic! Thanks to CAPEs, I had an opportunity to put the theory I learned in class into practice at AgriSea.

The Career Development Services at the University, and the organisers of the Market Insights Programme under CAPEs were very helpful as well.

They invited local business owners to give speeches at panel series, covering different topics like networking with local businesses, building connections with foreign companies, and increasing cultural awareness about other nations.

Thanks to MIP and CAPEs, I was able to meet the Director of Marketing and Communications at the University and land a role on campus.

What are your plans for the future once you complete your study?

At the moment I’m working at the University as part of the marketing and communications team. I've run two projects looking into the effectiveness of its nurture marketing email campaign, and a brochure translated into Chinese Mandarin; as well as understanding the motivations of Chinese students who choose to study at Waikato.

These projects have provided important insights from students and education agents, along with recommendations on how to better serve the needs of prospective international students from China.

I've also sourced my own internship with a car dealer to help with marketing and promotion. Now that I’ve solidified my research capabilities, I can now implement what I’ve learned.

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