Three students from India have recounted their rewarding experience of the Transformational Education System and the New Zealand Excellence Awards (NZEA) Programme.
Sponsored by Education New Zealand and funded by the eight Universities of the country, the NZEA Programme, since its launch in 2016, has benefited scores of international students from India.
The Programme incorporates Scholarships that are awarded every year to students from India, with the freedom to choose the subject of their interest.
They are awarded for undergraduate or postgraduate programmes in an extensive range of subject, from Engineering and Computer Science to Design.
This report cites the views and experiences of Megha Sharma, Samskar Palavarapu and Surya Shankar.
Lincoln University Class of 2018, Graduate Diploma of Applied Sciences
Surya Shankar came to New Zealand with the sole purpose of launching his career in Food Science. He is now in his first role at Fonterra, a New Zealand Cooperative and giant of the global dairy industry.
Surya is working as a microbiology laboratory technician at Fonterra’s Clandeboye factory, just outside of Temuka in South Canterbury.
He describes it as a “boon” for his career.
“I wanted to get some experience in New Zealand before I go home – there’s a lot of innovation here,” he said.
Surya’s current responsibilities include testing cheese and butter for any bacterial nasties. Next month, he’ll be rotated to a different part of the lab to extend his skills.
Surya said that his course at Lincoln prepared him well for his new role.
So too did the hands-on training, independent style of learning and links to industry that Lincoln offered.
Massey University Wellington Class of 2017, Master of Design
Megha Sharma said that her New Zealand education played an essential part of her finding a place in her dream industry, namely Fashion.
Megha works as a visual merchandiser in Auckland, designing and implementing the aesthetic of a retail shop. Before that (straight after graduation), she worked with a Wellington start-up as a sustainable design consultant.
“The role allows me to be creative and apply design thinking and customer experience methods,” she said.
Megha found her current job quickly. She said that her qualification gave her an edge thanks to its practical style of learning.
“Education here offers exposure to real-life problems and solutions because of its emphasis on different projects, volunteering workshops and other activities,” she said.
Kiwi employers look for work experience alongside qualifications and human skills, not just academic achievements, she said.
University of Waikato Class of 2017, Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science
Samskar Palavarapu became fascinated by computers as a young boy.
Now, he gets to work with them for a living.
Samskar is currently working in Wellington as a Junior Web Developer for DataTorque, a New Zealand company that creates tax collection software for clients across the globe.
“I love my job. I enjoy working in such a fun environment surrounded by amazing people.”
The NZEA award removed the financial barriers that Samskar faced exploring overseas study options. He believes that the inclusion of the scholarship on his CV made him stand out on the job market.
“Getting the award encouraged me to aim higher and chase bigger goals,” he said.
Samskar praised Waikato University for its advanced courses in Computer Science, which he said match current technological trends.
He is also a strong advocate of the University’s extra-curricular activities.
“The experiences that helped me to get a job were the many networking events I attended. I was also a member of IT New Zealand, which helped me keep updated with the latest industry updates,” he said.
New Zealand Excellence Awards (NZEA) is a unique initiative to encourage ambitious and capable Indian students to study at world-class universities in New Zealand.
New Zealand universities are among the best in the world – all are within the top 3% of universities worldwide.
New Zealand education promotes the spirit of invention, innovation and collaboration. Students are encouraged to think for themselves. Inquisitiveness, curiosity and independent thinking are rewarded.
NZEA features 35 scholarships across all eight universities, offering an opportunity for Indian students to experience New Zealand excellence in various fields such as related programmes.