Raul Penaranda is excited to have finally made it to New Zealand where he can now meet his classmates and lecturers in person and explore all the attractions the country has to offer.
He is one of a number of students who have been able to enter the country slightly early through a government border exemption.
Raul was studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Management online with us from his home in the Philippines. He is now studying for his Master of Applied Management here on campus.
Raul says his online study experience was challenging but also fun. He enjoyed the group work because it gave him a chance to get to know classmates.
Assessments were tough at first because he hadn’t been a student for ten or fifteen years. APA formatting was a challenge, but he got the hang of it after the first assessment with some help from our Learning Support Team.
In his second block of study, he became OPAIC’s online Student Representative and arranged a special online session for new students to help them understand APA.
Raul says the Student Representative experience was very positive as it allowed him to meet staff and students and get a taste of the New Zealand work culture.
He’s only been in the country a week and has already secured a part-time job as a Sales and Photography Assistant at Magic Memories at Sky City.
Now that Raul’s finally in New Zealand, he’s looking forward to learning face-to-face and meeting the friends he made online in person.
He’s also looking forward to seeing the sights of New Zealand, especially Queenstown. He’d like to do some of New Zealand’s great walks but says he might need to save those until after he graduates.
In the meantime, he wants to check out some local sites like Piha Beach. He’s already joined a Meetup group that organises local hikes.
One of the reasons he chose to study in New Zealand was because of all of these experiences he’d get to enjoy here.
His wife and daughter planned to join him here in October so the family will be able to explore the country together. He says they’ve never been to New Zealand before but were inspired by photos and videos.
Back home Raul worked in corporate training and learning and development handling everything from sales to the implementation of solutions.
He says there could be some remote opportunities available to him in the same field after he graduates or he might end up doing something entirely different.
“I’m open to whatever opportunities come along.”