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Student Voice

5 December 2019

Leo Tse, Our Very Own Education Tauranga Intern, Shares His Story

Leo Tse, Our Very Own Education Tauranga Intern, Shares His Story

Hong Kong is a unique place to grow up. It is a city of seven million people distinct from the rest of China, its culture influenced by a history of both British and Chinese rule. Among the world’s most developed and globalised cities, Hong Kong is famous for its diverse population, thriving economy and for having more skyscrapers than any other city in the world.

Growing up in Hong Kong, Leo (Chun Ho) Tse had a set pathway.

“If I stayed in Hong Kong, I would become a paramedic officer. It’s a good, stable job that was suitable because of my experience as a lifeguard.” - Leo

But Leo wasn’t looking for sure and steady; he was after change and uncertainty. So, he threw caution to the wind and decided to pursue a Business Degree in New Zealand.

Hong Kong to New Zealand

Leo was drawn to New Zealand’s reputation as a multicultural country with a focus on spending time outdoors.

From the very first day he arrived in 2016, Leo loved New Zealand. Leo was the only Asian student in his University of Waikato dorm block, Student Village, and found his peers incredibly welcoming, helping him with his English and including him in dorm activities – building lifelong friendships in the process.

“Living in the halls was amazing! I had never had my own room before – I always shared with my brother and grandmother. I loved the privacy and freedom.”

Studying at the University of Waikato

Leo is now in the final stages of a four-year Honours Degree in Business Management Studies, majoring in Strategy Management and Human Resources (HR) with a specialisation in International Management.

“Strategy is the stuff that makes your brain hurt when your studying it! It’s the broad overview of everything that makes a business run well, always looking to streamline processes and scalable plans. While Strategy is practical, HR is psychological. It’s understanding human behaviour in the workplace.”

Leo loves that the University of Waikato encourages students in his programme to get involved in business competitions that will hone their skillset and ignite their passion.

Some of his study highlights have included:

The New Tauranga Campus

He spent most of his time in Hamilton, until the university's Tauranga campus opened in his fourth year. 

“When this campus opened, it was time to make another change, experience a new city. From the first time I visited Tauranga, I felt like it was a really innovative, really cultural city.”

Leo now splits his time between the two cities, taking papers in Hamilton while working as a Seasonal Assistant tutor for the programme’s Introduction to Management paper at the Tauranga campus, as well as taking on an internship with…us!

Internship at Education Tauranga

Halfway through 2019, Leo became an intern here at Education Tauranga. As an international student training in business strategy, he brings invaluable experience and knowledge to our organisation. During his time here, Leo focused on analysing our current practices, helping us reach new international markets, and enhancing our social media presence. His six-month internship culminated in a comprehensive Strategy Report to help us support international students in Tauranga.

But the internship didn’t only help us in the Education Tauranga office, it also helped prepare Leo for a job in the real world. He improved his communication skills and put theories he learnt in the classroom into practice.

“This was, 100 percent, a great opportunity. Education Tauranga adds value to the international student’s experience. I gained an understanding of creating strategies that will be achievable within an organisation’s resources and realised how those changes affect every day people.”

Education and Culture in New Zealand

“I used to study until 10pm in Hong Kong. This work ethic is probably what has given me the ability to take on so much during my studies. But in New Zealand, I’ve learnt that study is more than just academic. It’s about interpersonal relationships, new experiences, learning things in person that you never could in a text book.”

Already exposed to Western ways growing up in Hong Kong, Leo has enjoyed getting to know New Zealand’s distinctive culture.

“It’s a very people-oriented culture – very welcoming and expressive with a strong community feel.”

Leo's Future Plans

Leo plans to stay in New Zealand upon graduation in July 2020 and hopes to secure a job as an HR consultant. In the long term, he’d love to work in a role that helps strengthen and bridge Western and Chinese cultures, and he knows that discovering more about the Kiwi work environment is a great place to start.


Join us on Facebook and contact Regional Relationship Manager Melissa Gillingham for more information:

Melissa Gillingham

 Regional Relationship Manager

 Education Tauranga

 Tel: +64 7 571 1401 ext. 707 | Mob: +64 21 724 272    
 Address: Private Bag 13057, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand  
 Email me