'My degree is gearing me up to work in an evolving and increasingly international business environment...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business
'I love the fact that my degree is gearing me up to work in an evolving and increasingly international business environment.'
Sam has always looked to wide horizons and chose a degree programme that would allow him to explore global opportunities.
'Business is such a flexible and versatile degree in many sectors around the world. I'm studying Chinese language with mine so I can combine the two to make the most of China's growing influence in the world.
'UC's focus on shaping its graduates to be more bicultural and globally aware was a big drawcard for me to come here,' he adds.
Two years into his degree, a Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia presented a golden opportunity - and $12,000 - to spend a semester on exchange at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
'Whilst living there, I was immersed in a culture so different to ours and learned how the Chinese live, learn and work. I was also able to build my then very basic Mandarin skills into a more rounded and confident conversational tool. However, above all, I developed a passion for the country and learned how China's future is very much a big part of New Zealand's future.'
Sam believes anyone whose degree programme offers the chance to go on exchange should do it.
'Go on exchange! Anywhere around the world, but in particular choose somewhere outside your comfort zone. Go somewhere with a different language and culture to New Zealand because you'll learn so many new skills and appreciate different cultures.
'I'd also advise applying for as many scholarships as possible. You never know until you try. Don't leave it because you think you won't be successful - that's what the majority of other people are probably thinking.'
Returning from China, Sam was made president of Global China Connection, a UC student-run, non-profit organisation which aims to build New Zealand-China relations through professional and networking initiatives. It is an ideal way to start on the path towards his ultimate career goal.
'I'd love my career to involve acting as a bridge builder between Chinese and New Zealand business cultures, either based here or in China,' he says.
'Global China Connection is funded by UC to run a number of different programmes designed to help students become more aware, connected and prepared for China-related opportunities.
'I reckon UC strikes a good balance between your social life and academic advancement. I love the clubs. That's why I'm involved with one, and most days I'll be organising people in it. When I'm not doing that, I'm attempting to study, and when I'm not studying, I love catching up with friends and professionals I network with over a beer or a coffee. I love the student lifestyle here, how the Uni is in one location and there's a real sense of student community.'