Before arriving in New Zealand, Aashima Yadav was feeling overworked in a high pressure marketing job in Delhi, India – a city of 19 million residents.
“Delhi is super competitive, very busy and crowded, and has lots of traffic and pollution,” she says. “It can be overwhelming. I loved my job at the marketing agency, but I was working such long hours and had no work-life balance.”
Aashima decided to study abroad and gain a master’s degree to further her marketing expertise.
Small class sizes meant she received a lot of personalised feedback from her lecturers. “They were very attentive and helpful in answering our questions and discussing study and employment goals.”
“I chose New Zealand – and Dunedin in particular – because it was not like Delhi,” she says. “It was still a city, but with nature and greenery everywhere. It was also a student city, so I knew it would have a great atmosphere.” Another reason for choosing Dunedin was the ability to stay and work in New Zealand after study.
“I valued the opportunity to put my learning into practice while gaining valuable international industry experience,” she says.
Aashima was grateful to receive a New Zealand Excellence Award Scholarship from Education New Zealand towards a one-year Master of Marketing at the University of Otago.
“It was definitely appealing that I could complete my master’s in a short time, but it was also quite demanding,” she recalls. “I found some balance by treating it like a job – I would study during regular work hours, and then switch off in the evenings and weekends.”
Soon after finishing her degree, Aashima was appointed to a dynamic and varied marketing role at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin’s other leading educational institute.
“I love my job. My studies have helped me professionally in so many ways – I’ve become a better writer, I’m more analytical and research-driven, and I have more confidence in my own skills and knowledge,” she says.
During her studies, Aashima lived in a University of Otago flat with five other students from Vietnam, Cambodia, Macau and India. They all became firm friends, and enjoyed cooking, studying, socialising and travelling together.
“I love how many amazing hikes and tramps there are everywhere here – in Delhi, you have to travel far to be in nature or go hiking,” she says. “Some of my favourite Dunedin walking spots are Tunnel Beach and Signal Hill.”
She has also found the city a great place to relax and unwind.
“I enjoy visiting the beautiful Dunedin Botanic Garden to read in the sun. St Clair Beach is another lovely spot to drink coffee and enjoy being beside the ocean.”
Describing her time in Dunedin, Aashima says, “It’s the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. I love the city, the people are kind and empathetic, and it is so safe. Plus, I have a wonderful job. It’s a dream!”