Rufaro Chengeta has found a home in Dunedin.
Taking a chance on a faraway university has paid dividends for Rufaro Chengeta.
Originally from Harare in Zimbabwe, Rufaro graduates this weekend with a Bachelor of Commerce from the Otago Business School.
She had developed an interest in commerce at high school but, when it came to selecting a University, she felt challenged by the many options available.
“Honestly, a large part of the reason I chose the University of Otago is because of how beautiful the campus is,” Rufaro says.
“I think Dunedin is absolutely stunning and the pictures I saw of the campus before moving here definitely caught my attention.
“I had liked accounting in high school more than most of my other subjects and so, when it came time to selecting a place to study, I felt the Otago Business School would be both an adventure and just the right fit for me.”
The trip was not without its challenges though when Rufaro found herself stuck here, on the other side of the world, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not being able to see family and friends for years was taxing, though she credits her local friends for supporting her during this time.
“The University provided me with plenty of opportunities to get involved with campus life,” Rufaro says.
“I took part in several initiatives such as the Audacious Startup programme, Business Case Competition and volunteering with UniCrew, all of which helped me make friends.
“These friendships really helped when the pandemic prevented me from returning home to visit my family and I also learnt a great deal from these experiences that I couldn't have from just reading textbooks and focusing on academic study alone.”
Even with COVID-19, Rufaro considers her study experience a positive one where she enjoyed completing her Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Accounting and Finance.
Some of the highlights included completing “interesting and impactful papers” on topics like climate finance and corporate sustainability.
“Accounting and finance are at the core of a business and its impact as well as being integral to society in general,” Rufaro says.
“The financial sector plays a vital role in the development of economies, one of the reasons I enjoyed studying it so much and I am very happy I did.
“I also chose to study here because I knew that it was going to be an adventure and, with a pandemic in the middle of it, I can definitely say it was!
“I am grateful to God, my family, and to all the friends that supported me along the way because I wouldn't have made it here without them.”
- Kōrero by the Communications Adviser of the Otago Business School, Kelsey Schutte.