I Shouldn't Have Taken the Business Course

I shouldn’t have taken the business course.

Each time, Filipinos ask me what I’m studying here and I reply business, they shake their heads or say, “Ay, mahirap yan!” (That’s hard). Not that the course is hard but I will have difficulty looking for a job.

I know that I need to invest more than a million pesos just to study in New Zealand. But what I don’t know is that I may never be able to recoup that investment given the situation.

But since I am here, I just assume that I am on a one-year vacation in Middle Earth, and after that very long holiday, I go home with memories of the beautiful surroundings and photographs.

Fair enough!

New Zealand is a very beautiful country.

Blue, lake tekapo, new zealand
Oh Blue. Lake Takapo. When I saw this view on my way to Queenstown. I almost choked in tears. Never seen a beauty like this.

In my job search, I realized that the reality here is daunting for me, a business student.

One of the obstacles that I experienced here is not only making a customised Kiwi CV  but meeting the requirement of a New Zealand experience, in which case I have none. My challenge was to get my first job. Which I did after two months and it was a two-day casual job as a Kitchen Help, and it was not even related to business.

To attract students, the immigration allows 20 hours of work per week, but since I have a business course, I was also competing with thousands of international students as well as New Zealanders.

When I decided to come to New Zealand I had this big eye on the prize. I did my research and learned that there were plenty of jobs related to business management courses on the essential skills or so, I thought. I had this realistic belief about what I can do – I am smart, I am hardworking, I have more than enough work experience, I have outstanding communication skills, dah, dah.

When I had my one-year open work visa, I was stuck for months in my part-time job. I got frustrated and almost ended up faking my cv.

I griped and felt deceive in the process. I was told jobs are easy to find.

Some are lucky yes, probably two out of ten can be lucky.  In my case, I had hundreds and hundreds of applications that are rejected. I even attended two job-search seminars and leveled up my job-hunting techniques. At first, it was depressing but I got used to it that I no longer read my inbox anymore and got depressed even more.

I reckoned that business management may be a course where most New Zealanders are into. This means that I was also  competing with them. Most of the jobs also require a two-year work visa, a residency or a citizenship.

I only have a one-year work visa.

The only consolation I have is that I share the same sentiment with a number of Filipino migrants (who are not just students). Sometimes a heated discussion about particular educational agents who scammed Filipinos are topics in Buhay Estudyante sa New Zealand, a Facebook page for international students.

I was not scammed by my agent though. We just both didn’t know what is really going on.

Regret often comes last.

I should not have taken the business course.

I shouldn’t have.



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  1. I really want to study in New Zealand, What will I do? – Pinay Thinks | 22nd Feb 16

    […] be competing with fellow migrants as well as New Zealanders. Remember what I wrote about the New Zealander First Policy in my previous post. It is very important that you do as much research as you can […]

  2. hazel | 22nd Feb 16

    Hello there po,
    I was reading thru your blog and am surprised with the challenging reality of the study-work-and live scheme there since i was also planning to go through that same path. May I ask lang po what are the other major cities which have a lot of jobs to offer?

    • Pinay Thinks | 22nd Feb 16

      Dear Hazel,

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Coming to South Island will be a good option. Christchurch is the biggest city.It is quieter and the Filipinos here are nicer. It is teeming with activity because of the rebuild. The earth here however is also very active with the faultline just close to the central business district. If you are on the healthcare profession, there are a lot of rest homes here as well. If you are on IT I think Auckland is a good choice. Although I suggest that you do your research and listen to your intuitive gut. There are some students I knew who moved from Auckland to here to get a job.

      In terms of residency the immigration also gives additional points to migrants opting to get a job outside of Auckland.

      Goodluck on your journey and Godbless!

  3. Vindy | 26th May 16

    Hi girl .. first of all i would like to thank you for helping others to understand the real situation in New zealan , very recently i happened to read your blog & i was bit shocked about the situation . coz i too planned to come to new zeland same as your path . i was told by my agent according to my experience & qualifications, only option is the business route , he said first & 2nd year would be very tough , however, if i could find a normal job i could survive & after several years that it would lead for applying the PR, he is in New zealand & his office situated in our country too . im a sri lankan. i married & my husband is an IT guy. he said he too could find a job in IT field & we should select the college in Auckland . he has some UK qualification & he said once i obtained my qualification in New zealand , we could apply for the PR with the additional points of my husband . it seems he had help to find jobs for all his customers. but Im very scared about the job situation that you have stated in your blog, please help me to get this cleared, coz Im sacrificing a lot to come there .

    • Mari | 29th May 16

      Hi Vindy. THanks for reading my blog. I understand how scary it is to take a risk. It would be better for you to ask many others who are already here in New Zealand. I don’t know much about IT but they may have better opportunities than business students. Things however change in New Zealand. It is also good if you monitor recent changes in immigration policies.

  4. ramil | 4th Oct 16

    hi there. are you still in new zealand? ive been following your blog and i relate to your struggles. have you managed to extend your work visa? perhaps you are a resident now?

  5. Clar | 26th Dec 16

    Good day po. Thanks for your very informative blog post. I am a licensed chemical engineer in the Philippines and I barely have any experience in my field since I just passed this year. But in 2017 I am planning to work as a Software Engineer since it pays better and is more in-demand. After working for around a year I am planning to enter New Zealand with a student visa and eventually work and live there. Do you think I have a chance? What course would you suggest I take? I would love to hear your opinions. Thank you so much in advance!


  6. Louie | 7th Feb 17

    I like your blog, interesting! By the way I’m studying business major in Engineering Management at a PTE. hahaha Hope to have a related job and a good life.

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