As I left behind small-town life and traded up for that small-city life, embarking on the adventure of my studies in Wellington, I was filled with excitement at what was to come. What I did not know then was that adventure would last over 5 and a half years and define me and my life in more ways than I could ever imagine.
Over the five and a half years which I would spend in tertiary education, I would study three degrees across two universities. My undergraduate studies would leave me with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts. and is the focus of this post.
? Bachelor of Arts:
I focused my Bachelor of Arts in Mandarin and International Relations. Two areas of study which you would think would complement each other stupendously, however, rarely crossed information. International Relations was and remains a passion for me and while late Obama era foreign policy and the “Rise of China” seem like topics from an aeon ago now, the analytical and theoretical frameworks I gained from the subject have benefitted my ability to analyse the world immensely. Meanwhile, Mandarin was a subject area I fell into and found I loved. For a Southern farm kid, very little seemed further off than being able to read, write and speak Mandarin but I was quickly entranced by the history, structures and uniqueness of the language. A topic I hope to write much more on.
? Bachelor of Commerce:
I focused my Bachelor of Commerce in International Business and Commercial law. Studying International Business alongside International Relations built bridges of understanding that I can’t imagine going without now. The intricacies and complexities of each are so unique and yet comparable in incredibly enlightening ways. Ultimately the fascinating complexity of global supply chains would consistently grab my attention to the point where it enticed me to journey further into postgraduate studies. Further, I found studying Commercial Law allowed for a grounded and practical lens through which to focus the overarching and holistic ideas and challenges explored in my internationally-focused disciplines.
I walked into university not really knowing what I wanted to do, like so many others, but ultimately I decided to select papers and degrees based off of what I found interesting and pushed aside feelings of ‘expectations’ for what I should do. That decision turned out to be the most important decision I would ever make, for I found my studies engaging, challenging and exciting. The things I learnt and ideas I was exposed to still inform and expand my world view today.