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Marian Batelaan

Marian Bartelann. Marian Batelaan
Economics and Chemistry

Studying at Otago gave Marian Batelaan a chance many economists would dream of - living in Poland soon after the transition from a communist regime to joining the European Union.

Batelaan spent a semester at the Warsaw School of Economics - she was the first Otago student to go on exchange to Poland.

Batelaan discovered economics after starting a degree in science, which she had enjoyed at school. "I came to Otago because the Department of Zoology has a great reputation. But, in my first semester, I took a variety of papers and found out what I enjoyed most.

"I had a good foundation and enjoyed chemistry but couldn't see myself working in it, so, to enhance my career prospects, I started a BCom as well."

This year, she graduates with a BSc in chemistry and a BCom(Hons) in economics. "It's an oddball combination," Batelaan admits.

It made it challenging for Otago's School of Business to match her with a business mentor as part of its executive mentoring programme.

Finally Batelaan was placed with the managing director of Landrover New Zealand.

"I was extremely lucky. My mentor has been absolutely wonderful. He flew me to Auckland for a day in the office and I spent a weekend at their testing centre in Rotorua. It was awesome."