Connecting alumni in Sydney

On a recent visit back to Hamilton, Sydney-based alumna Katie Hudders couldn't believe how much had changed at the University of Waikato since she was last studying on campus in 1999.

"It's so cool to see all the changes, even over the 10 years or so since I've been back. The Student Centre especially is great, such a change from the old library," she says.

Katie (pictured with her husband, Mark) initially arrived at the University of Waikato in 1997, having just completed a Bachelor of Laws in her native Brazil.

"I had heard about the high level of universities in New Zealand from a friend who had lived there in the past. I did a bit of research and decided the University of Waikato was where I wanted to go to do my masters."

As an international student, Katie says the culture on campus helped to broaden her perspective and saw her make friends she still keeps in touch with today.

"The cultural experiences I had at Waikato made me more open-minded. Whenever I travel, I'm more curious about the people I meet - the different cultures and different traditions they have."

After graduating with a Master of Law in 1999, Katie returned to Brazil and settled into life as a solicitor. Five years later she made another move down under, this time to Australia, where she's now based in Sydney working for Andrews Solicitors. 

When she first moved to Sydney, Katie was contacted by a fellow Waikato graduate and they both set up an informal coffee group for alumni to meet and catch up regularly. She's now taken on the role of the University's alumni representative for the Sydney area.

"Having gone through the experience - many times - of setting up in a new city, I know how challenging it can be to meet new people. When you meet with alumni from your university, you already have something in common, which is a great place to start from when you're in a new city."

Alumni Relationship Manager Leonie Woutersen says the University of Waikato's worldwide network of alumni representatives are useful connections to have when travelling.

"They're a great way of keeping in touch with the University but more often than not, they can be a friendly face when you're new to a city. Often you find yourself reaching out to meet people that you have something in common with, and alumni reps can open up a circle of new friends and contacts."

The University of Waikato has alumni representatives based in cities including Sydney, London and Beijing. For the full list of locations, representatives and how to contact them, click here. If you're interested in becoming an alumni representative, send us an email.