Pippa BensonUndergraduate profile

Pippa Benson


Pippa Benson's unusual combination of a BA in Religious Studies and a BCom in International Business is proving to be a highly topical one.

“I'd always been interested in big business but I'm also interested in people and their cultural backgrounds — what makes people behave the way they do.

“Right now religion is a controversial issue in the news — a dividing factor between cultures. Understanding it helps to explain the background behind current conflicts and clarifies how these conflicts affect the world.

“I had expected religious studies to be focused on history, but there are lots of contemporary papers dealing with important issues in the world today.”

Pippa found the initial transition from school to university surprising, particularly realising that students could get to know lecturers as well as learn from them.

“At school you tend not to see teachers as anything other than teachers, but since I plucked up courage to talk to some of my lecturers I've found they're really friendly and have interesting backgrounds.

“The teaching has been awesome, and the University facilities are outstanding, from the Commerce Building to the libraries, where you can get all the resources you could ever need.”

Pippa studied French and Japanese as part of her International Business degree, and served terms on the Otago University Students' Association Executive as Colleges Officer, liaising between different colleges and organising events.

“Student life is great — there are so many clubs and activities. And if you are good at time management you can fit in all the things you are interested in. Balance work, study and a fun social life and you can really enjoy yourself.”

After graduating, Pippa is considering studying law at Otago and a career in commercial law, or going into the business world — “there are so many options for the future I'll have to see what happens.”

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University of Otago Religious Studies Programme