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Jacelyn Santiago 

Master of Applied Management  



Master of Applied Management graduate Jacelyn Santiago found fulfilment and purpose in her international study journey through the many opportunities offered inside and outside the classroom at OPAIC.  

Jacelyn says OPAIC organised various activities that allowed her to explore the country and immerse herself in its culture, such as trips to Muriwai, hiking on Rangitoto Island, and opportunities for volunteering with organisations including the Cancer Society.  

“Being involved with organisations such as Migrant Women in New Zealand (MWNZ) gave me an extra sense of purpose and fulfilment in my journey here.” 

She says she also appreciated the diversity of her classmates, which added a unique and valuable dimension to her Master's studies.  

“The best things about studying at OPAIC were the enriching learning experiences and the strong social support provided by the institution.” 

It was a challenge at first adapting to a new teaching model and she sometimes felt homesick.  

“To overcome these challenges, I actively participated in the social and cultural activities organised by OPAIC, which helped me build a support network and feel more connected,” she says.   

“I also sought guidance from my professors and peers to adapt to the new teaching style.” 

Jacelyn is originally from the Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Management and has worked in Human Resources at FMC Technologies. She’s also spent 16 years living in the United Arab Emirates, working as a Payroll Specialist for the first nuclear power plant in the Middle East. 

Now that she’s finished her Master’s degree, Jacelyn has joined Matrix Security Group here in New Zealand as an HR Coordinator. 

Jacelyn says she’s putting the knowledge and skills she gained at OPAIC to use in her new role.  

I am heavily involved in HR practices and processes, and I also have some involvement with operations.  

“On a typical day, I handle regular recruitment, onboarding, and various HR tasks. More importantly, I was hired as a champion of change, playing a key role in the digital transformation that the organisation is undertaking.” 

Jacelyn’s advice for current or future students is to be active and engaged.  

“Take full advantage of everything OPAIC offers. Get involved in activities, network with your peers and professors, and make the most of your time here. Building connections and participating in various events will greatly enrich your experience and open up new opportunities.”