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Vera Tjen

New Zealand Diploma in Construction (Quantity Surveying)



Indonesian graduate Vera Tjen made the most of the hands-on learning opportunities available to her during her time at OPAIC.

Vera received her New Zealand Diploma in Construction (Quantity Surveying) at OPAIC’s recent graduation ceremony and was also awarded a certificate for outstanding academic achievement in her course.

Earlier this year, Vera was one of 30 students nationwide selected for the ArchEngBuild Challenge in Wellington. The challenge is an intensive three-day competition for New Zealand tertiary students.

It involves New Zealand’s top final-year students in architecture, engineering and construction management. Students collaborate in 10 teams over three days to respond to a real-life client brief.

Vera says the event was a good way to practice collaborating with others.

 “It’s a really amazing experience. You could learn from different perspectives,” she says.

Her lecturer told her about the competition and helped her prepare.

Vera teamed up with an architecture student from Wellington and an engineering student from Auckland at the competition.

In another instance of hands-on learning, Vera completed an internship with the quantity surveying team Prendos in Takapuna this year.

During the internship she measured buildings using CostX, a programme she’d learned about during her course.

OPAIC’s Corporate Relations team helped her set the internship up: “which is very helpful, I think if we look for an internship and we bring our school’s names I think it’s more convincing rather than looking by yourself…That’s one thing that I really, really like about this school.”

Vera says real-world case studies and problems were also discussed in her classes. She says her lecturers all have experience in the field which they can share. That means students are kept up to date with what’s happening in the industry.

“What I like is the lecturers are really helpful.”

She’d received two important tips from her lecturers. One was that you have to do what you love in order to get better at it.

“I do believe that you have to love what you do, in order to be really, really good at it.”

The other was that the success of your study isn’t just about coming to class and studying for exams. It’s about maximising your time outside of class. Vera says she does her best to always be productive.

Another good aspect of OPAIC is the help offered by the Student Success Team and peer tutors.

Vera says OPAIC understand what students struggle with and do their best to help.

 “I think I’m lucky because I have a good support system.”

Vera recommends New Zealand to other students considering overseas study and believes other Indonesian students will like it here.

The air is fresh, the people are nice, and the country is safe and comfortable, she says.

Listen to Vera speaking about her experiences here.

Go here to learn more about the New Zealand Diploma in Construction.