Ellen's Story

Introducing Ellen

Ellen, China

Tell us about your experience studying at UCIC and then transitioning to UC?

So, my journey from China to New Zealand started at UCIC, which was a fantastic experience. It's this really welcoming environment that helps you ease into university life. Especially for someone like me, where English isn't my first language, so having that gradual transition was really helpful. You're not thrown into the deep end right away. The class sizes are small, so you really get that personal attention from the teachers. I studied a UTP: Science before doing my degree in Computer Sciences.

How did you find the transition to UC?

Ah, that transition was a bit of a shift, but the support systems they have in place really helped. Plus, having a solid foundation from UCIC made a big difference. So, while it was a change, it wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it might be.

What was it like studying at UCIC in terms of the learning environment?

It was great. It's such a diverse community. You get to meet people from all over the world. I could really engage with the course materials and ask questions without feeling lost. Plus, the lecturers were always accessible and willing to help, which made a big difference.

Did you join any clubs or extracurricular activities during your time at UCIC or UC?

Being involved in clubs is a big part of the UC university experience. I joined maybe 3 or 4 over the years.  We even helped organise events like the gala, which really helped me feel more connected to the campus community. Plus, I play badminton and go to the gym.

Did you manage to travel around New Zealand?

Oh, absolutely. New Zealand is such a beautiful country, and I’ve been lucky enough to explore a bit during my time there. I went to Auckland on a road trip, and I keep going back to Queenstown.  One of the highlights for me was doing the Bridge Swing. Definitely not for the faint hearted. With its incredible lake and mountains, it’s like something out of a postcard. So yeah, those travel experiences were definitely one of the highlights of my time in New Zealand.

Can you tell us about your role as a Reporting Specialist at IAG?

Of course. So, at IAG, my main role is to analyse and report on data. It's pretty fascinating because I get to dive deep into numbers and trends, trying to uncover insights that can help drive decision-making for different companies. And the culture at IAG is fantastic. Since starting there, I've really been able to develop my skills and take on new challenges, which has been incredibly rewarding.

How did your education prepare you for your role?

Studying computer science definitely gave me the technical skills I needed in my role. But beyond that, just the problem-solving mindset that you develop in university is so valuable. Having that ability to think critically and approach challenges systematically has been key. I draw on a lot of the skills and knowledge that I gained during my studies. So, in a way, it all ties together in the end.

UCIC Programmes

Foundation Studies Certificate

University Transfer Programme: Commerce

University Transfer Programme: Science

University Transfer Programme: Engineering