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Song (Vincent) Zhang

National Diploma in Quantity Surveying

Bachelor of Construction (Quantity Surveying)



Vincent Zhang gave up an engineering job with Apple in China to come to New Zealand and start a new career in construction.

He’d been working for Apple retail back home and was doing well financially, but he’d learned most of what there was to know about his industry and wanted to try something new.

“I knew software and hardware. I knew nothing about construction.”

He’d heard Quantity Surveying was a good industry and working with a culturally diverse team at Apple inspired him to travel overseas for his next adventure.

“I thought maybe it’s time to see what actually is overseas.”

He’d heard New Zealand was a peaceful, clean, and beautiful country, so made the move here in 2015.

Vincent completed his two-year National Diploma in Quantity Surveying at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, selecting that city for its beauty and campus environment.

Struggling to find work in the South Island after graduation, he made the move to Auckland where he landed a job as a Quantity Surveyor in the residential space within two weeks.

He stayed in the job for a year and a half, building up his knowledge, then decided it was time for a change and took a Quantity Surveying job with a big developer in Hamilton for a different challenge.  

A year later he decided to develop his career by furthering his study.  

“I decided it was time to go back to school to get the bachelor.”

This time around he enrolled at OP’s Auckland campus in the Bachelor of Construction.

He thought study would be easy for him having worked in the industry for some time, however he’s learning new things each day.  

“I’ve still gained something from the course,” he says.

“I have the work experience, but I still need to systematically re-arrange my knowledge.”

He’s been finding construction law and people management topics particularly interesting.

The bachelor will take him only one year since he already has the diploma. He’s continuing to work part-time while he studies and will return to full-time work when he finishes.

“In Auckland, construction is booming,” he says.

While there are good job opportunities for graduates in Auckland, it helps if they have some work experience, says Vincent.

He recommends students should try and do a few months of work experience, prior to entering the workforce and try and gain experience across various aspects of projects.  

Read more about the Bachelor of Construction.