INTOUCH : Business savvy, science nous

In one lesson Danielle Fraser would be cutting up rats, in the next she’d be planning long-term business strategy for major New Zealand company. She graduated last month with real mix of skills that could take her in many career directions.
Fraser is the first Waikato University student to graduate with joint Bachelor of Management Studies/Bachelor of Science degree. “I originally left Hamilton Girls’ High and enrolled in veterinary science degree, but work experience at vets before I started put me off – too much blood – so I switched to management. Only year down the track I found I missed the science.”
As luck would have it, Waikato was offering its new five-year conjoint degree, which suited Fraser down to the ground. “The subjects I was studying were so different but I knew the management skills I was gaining would cross over into all the sciences.”
She says there was one science paper that she could apply to management – animal behaviour. “There was psychology involved in that and I found lot of what I was learning was applicable to areas of strategic management and organisational behaviour.”
Waikato Management students are all required to complete an investigation into business or organisation. Fraser worked on strategic growth opportunities for the proposed Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, liaising with other involved groups including Hamilton Zoo and Hamilton City Council on ways to restore natural ecosystem in 60 hectares in the city.
“That was interesting and quite challenging, working on project that has seven different partners and isn’t yet established. But it was good learning experience applying different strategic theories to different scenarios.”
Fraser has been working at Livestock Improvement (LIC) but following her graduation is leaving New Zealand for Western Australia. “I’m lucky that with my degree I can look for pure science job, job in management or one that combines the two. I have plenty of choices.”

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