Following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, Misbah always wanted to get into the finance and accounting industry. After putting her dreams on hold for over a decade, Misbah found her path by studying and eventually working at UCOL Te Pukenga.
"Right from when I was a kid, numbers came naturally to me. Where most kids were playing with normal toys, I loved fiddling with calculators. The passion continued into my adult years and I eventually graduated with an accounting degree and Master's in Human Resource Management."
After finishing her studies in India, Misbah moved to Paris with her husband, after he received a job offer.
"I was excited to start my accounting career, but my French was not good enough to land a job, so I decided to take a break and enjoy life in Paris.
"After almost six years, we decided it was time to move, so we came to Palmerston North to settle down and raise our family.
"Because of the long gap between graduating and looking for a job, it was difficult for me to find work. So I decided to refresh my accounting knowledge - and that's how I ended up at UCOL."
Enrolling in a
Graduate Diploma in Accounting (Level 7) at
UCOL's Palmerston North campus, Misbah said she felt immediately at home.
"I vividly remember my first visit to UCOL - the crowd of ākonga (learners) walking around, music was being played, and the information desk was so friendly.
"I felt such positivity from UCOL kaimahi (staff). It made me feel confident about my decision and I enrolled in
the programme right away. I told my father I was getting back into accounting and he was so excited!"
However, shortly before her course began Misbah and her family faced an unfortunate turn of events.
"Right before I started, I lost my father and father-in-law within 10 days due to COVID-19, and then my mother-in-law was diagnosed with late-stage cancer.
"It was the most difficult phase of my life. I was very disheartened and unsure about starting my studies, but I looked up to my Dad, and his confidence in me made me want to keep going.
"With the support of my husband and son, I joined the course. Without them, it wouldn't have been possible."
Misbah says UCOL kaimahi and her work experience were also a big help during her studies.
"My lecturers were amazing. I didn't tell them what was going on in my life at the time, but they were all so supportive anyway. I really appreciated the library kaimahi too. Their pre-assignment checks were incredibly helpful.
"During my studies, I also got the opportunity for an Internship at MASH Trust. The internship provided me with much-needed accounting and finance experience and I learnt a lot!"
Fast forward one year and Misbah had completed her course with straight A's and was ready to find a job.
"I was feeling a bit anxious about looking for a job, but my accounting lecturer reassured me it was going to be fine and offered to be my referee for job applications.
"Not long after, I came across an accounting job ad for the UCOL Finance department. Without a second thought, I applied and was shortlisted for an interview. It was like a dream come true when I got it - I was finally in a profession where I've always wanted to be."
Misbah says the kaimahi she works with has been a huge highlight for her.
"The kaimahi have been so helpful, I'm blessed to have them! My manager, especially, is awesome. It's like my second home here, I feel so welcome and comfortable. There is lots of diversity among the kaimahi and ākonga too and I love learning about the different cultures here."
Having just celebrated her one-year anniversary working at UCOL, Misbah is excited for the future.
"I'm so happy and proud to be part of the wonderful team at UCOL. I have already learned so much working here and there is so much more to come. My new dream is to pursue my Chartered Accountancy. Although, I love photography too and am keen to learn some skills from the
UCOL photography course first!"
For any aspiring ākonga who may be doubting their future, Misbah says to keep going.
"Life is all about having a dream and never giving up on it. Just keep working on it and believe in yourself. You only live once, so make the most of it!"