EIT helps Sri Lankan chartered accountant further education

EIT graduate Chanika Lokuge believes she made the right choice in leaving Sri Lanka to study at EIT.

A Sri Lankan chartered accountant, who enrolled in EIT’s Master of Applied Management programme to further her education, has not only graduated and found a job locally, but has also integrated into the Hawke’s Bay community.

She worked as a financial consultant before deciding to look at opportunities to study further overseas.

“I identified the Master of Applied Management at EIT as being a great fit for my background and future career growth. The programme content attracted me because it covered a wide range of subjects and I felt it would enhance my ability to grow in a wider spectrum of my career.”

Chanika moved to New Zealand in 2019 to begin her postgraduate studies at EIT’s School of Business on the Hawke’s Bay campus. It is a decision she has not regretted.

“EIT programmes are designed in such a way that all resources are at hand on MyEIT (EIT’s online student portal), and the lecturers are great facilitators who very willingly guide with timely feedback. I really enjoyed the interactive discussions at weekly workshops.

“Apart from the academic experience, I loved being involved in various activities organised for international students. I had the opportunity to join the International Student Peer Mentor Programme which enabled me to guide new students to settle in and understand the commitment required to be successful at EIT. It was a very rewarding experience helping others. Participating at the international dinner with a group performance and making a cultural handicraft was a memorable event.”

It did not stop there for Chanika, as not only was she a finalist in the Best Asian Tertiary Student category of the Hawke’s Bay Asians in the Bay Awards, but she also secured a role as accountant at Real Estate Brands Management Limited, Napier, which is the head office for five real estate brands with 31 offices around the region.

“I believe the integrated project I completed as part of my masters played a great part in securing this role. I was able to showcase my ability to handle a real-life scenario which helped me to gain a great reference from my supervisor of the organisation I worked with.

“My integrated project gave me the opportunity to work closely with retailers in Napier and it improved my negotiating skills. It also improved my skill of multi-tasking which helps immensely with my current role. I also enhanced my problem-solving ability by developing a Power Bi dashboard which also has become a useful tool at work.”

As for the future, Chanika says she loves her current job because it provides a great work life balance.

“I hope I can continue to give my best for a long time, which would eventually help to progress my career.”

EIT has given the second career and start that Chanika wanted.

“I found my experience at EIT very rewarding academically as well as professionally. The lecturers were great facilitators who pushed me to bring the best out of me. The learning services were a great helping hand to manage stress and achieving the highest standard. The EIT International Centre, along with student support, was a great help from finding excellent accommodation when I first arrived and giving many opportunities to learn about Kiwi culture and adapt to the new environment. I have made lifetime friends during this time.

“My advice to future students would be to take every opportunity that comes their way and make as many contacts as possible, whilst reaching their academic goals to the best of their ability.”

Head of EIT’s School of Business, John West, says it is no surprise Chanika found employment quickly after her studies.

“Chanika was an excellent student through the course of her postgraduate degree and her integrated project has made a significant contribution to the organisation she worked for.

“Not only was she a really good student, but she actively supported her fellow students during the difficult Covid-19 times.”