Charlotte Lacey

'The reputation UC holds with regards to science innovation and law made me feel like this was the place for me...'

  • Charlotte Lacey

Studying towards a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Communicator, New Zealand Police

Charlotte’s career plan is to work with the Police in the forensic or intelligence areas and she is thrilled with how, through her double degree at UC, things are coming together to enable her achieve this.

‘I don’t remember a time when this wasn’t what I wanted to do,’ she says. ‘Canterbury offers a variety of Science majors which allow you to really personalise what you want to study. They are also world-leading with regards to the Criminal Justice degree. It requires a high level of focus, and mainly comprises compulsory papers, but it has a variety of electives that enable me to shape my degree and help get me where I want to be.’

Growing up in Canterbury, Charlotte initially wanted to leave the region, and completed a year of study at Otago University before deciding to return to Christchurch. When UC offered its new BCJ, it was an ‘easy decision’ to enrol at UC.

‘The reputation UC holds particularly with regards to science innovation and law made me feel like this was the place for me; plus my degree would be recognised worldwide.’

As well as studying, Charlotte works as a communicator at the New Zealand Police communications centre.

‘I love my job with the Police; it keeps me focussed as to where I want to end up. We take all the emergency and non-emergency calls, prioritise them, and relay the information to frontline officers via radio, dispatching police as appropriate. I enjoy feeling like I am making a difference to other New Zealanders, and playing my part in keeping our communities safe.’

She is also a commissioned officer in the Air Training Corps strain of the New Zealand Cadet Forces, where she has developed an interest in teaching and training.

‘I am involved in everything from classroom training through to adventure and weapons training, amongst other things, all of which I love. I get the chance to train both officers and other cadets, helping them learn new skills and thus progress in rank. It’s an amazing moment when you see how much people have learned and how far they have come sometimes in as little as a week. Being part of this organisation also means I’m lucky enough to spend time on military bases and get to know what the various squadrons, corps and divisions of our military do.’

Charlotte is happy that she has been able to study both part-time and full-time at UC, allowing her to maintain her police and cadets work. She appreciates a good work-life balance and being able to enjoy the business of study.

‘There are a lot of works going on around campus but it still has a positive vibe,’ she says. ‘I’m loving all the new study zones – the Undercroft, Alibi café, and Karl Popper – there’s always a space to meet and study with friends. The staff have all been very supportive and happy to help, which really sets Canterbury apart from other Universities. It’s always great meeting new people. It’s a really friendly and positive place!’

In her spare time, Charlotte likes reading, cooking and listening to music. Music has always been an important part of her life.

‘I’m quite deaf, and in 2013 I was lucky enough to get a surgically implanted hearing aid, one of the first of its type in the world. It has made a huge difference to my life, and I appreciate sound and music now more than ever! It’s also really helped me now that I am a full-time student – if I didn’t have it I’d probably still be studying part-time.

‘I think having some creative outlets is good for everyone. I also love catching up with my friends – where would we be without our support networks!’

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