Johnpaul.

Bachelor of Science.

Where are you from, and how did you end up here!

I'm from Jamaica. I came to NZ at the end of high school. I chose UC because it's a great program, a great school, a great environment and my family’s here as well.

What on earth is financial engineering?

It's similar to finance but it's more interdisciplinary. It mixes computer programming, engineering, statistics and maths as well as economics. There’s a strong use of technology too which is really relevant in today's world.

Favourite thing about studying here?

At UC they genuinely want you to learn and do well. Last year I went to my maths lecturer because I was having problems with differential equations. She talked me through it and loaned me a book from her own personal library. The lecturers here really reach out to you.

How’s UC life?

The range of things to do is really great. UC caters to everybody. I mean, we have a Beyoncé Society! It's open to everyone's creativity. Whatever you like, there's something here for you. In first year I stayed in my shell a bit but I'm much more involved now.

"UC is not only a ticket to a degree. It’s a personal discovery of who I want to be and what I want to do in my future."

What have you been involved with?

Last year I applied to be on the SVA Exec. They gave me a position as a Wellness Officer. I'm in charge of maintaining the wellbeing of the executive student body. That includes building leadership programs, helping with conflict resolution, teaching nutrition. It’s about mind, body and soul.

What have you learned from that?

For a long time I was a perfectionist. By working with other people I’ve learned that everybody's imperfect. Everybody has problems but they still find a way to be happy and keep going. I’ve broken out of wanting to be a ‘superhuman’. My confidence has also grown a lot. I feel comfortable confronting different circumstances in my environment.

What's surprised you most about UC?

It's so open here. Diversity is truly embraced. There’s so much variety in what you can do. To me, UC is not only a ticket to a degree. It’s a personal discovery of who I want to be and what I want to do in my future.