At the age of 17 Estelle Sun’s parents proposed the idea of sending her overseas for her higher education. Estelle eagerly packed her bags and left China destined for New Zealand.
“I was so excited about the opportunity to study at Otago, and at the same time knew that it was just the beginning of a long journey, both geographically and academically. When I arrived in Dunedin I began my BCom in Accounting.”
Estelle says that one of the most challenging experiences was entering the honours programme at the beginning of her second year.
“The honour s programme, particularly through the opportunity to work with an experienced academic to develop a piece of academic research, provided me with a solid grounding in accounting theory, research methods and statistical analysis. This helped foster my personal and academic growth as well.”
After gaining her BCom with first class honours, Estelle worked as a teaching fellow in the Department of Accountancy and Business Law. She especially enjoyed the interaction with students and considers teaching a very fulfilling experience. As a teaching fellow she was able to engage actively in research taking place within the department, which resulted in her co-authoring several professional and academic papers.
“My time at Otago built up my confidence in academia, and encouraged me to seek more challenges and academic achievements.”
Always looking for the next challenge, Estelle applied for, and was awarded a full scholarship to complete a PhD at the University of California’s Berkeley campus in the United States. While there she will spend two years completing coursework before beginning her thesis in her third year.
“My years as a student and a teaching fellow at Otago were filled with great moments and more surprises than I can count. I believe my educational success at Otago was the crucial factor for my admission to this prestigious university in the U.S. However wherever I go, I will be always proud of being an Otago accounting graduate.”