Denil Philip has come a long way, both geographically and professionally, from his home state of Kerala in Southern India.
Denil holds a Bachelor in Electronics and Biomedical Engineering from TKM Institute of Technology in Kerala, India. After graduating in 2014, he worked as a Biomedical Engineer, where he maintained and serviced medical equipment in a hospital, then as a Sales and Service Engineer in a medical company. It was while working in these jobs, that he became interested in management, budgeting and building relationships with stakeholders.
Denil had dreamed of visiting New Zealand and was really excited when he got the opportunity to study here. "I wanted to study in a place which is calm and peaceful, as well as a beautiful town," he says. "So, I choose the 'student city' of New Zealand - Palmerston North!"
It was UCOL's wide variety of programmes that first attracted Denil. He says he could relate the Graduate Diploma in Operations and Production Management to the medical industry and his engineering field. "And along with that, I could learn the basics of management."
"My UCOL Lecturers were great, very friendly and approachable. They made sure that all the topics were covered, and all the students could understand," says Denil. "The practical experience that I gained from the assignments, quizzes and presentations was very valuable and gave me a good grounding in management. I learned to build good team relationships with the people around me and grew in confidence to face the challenges out in the real world," he says.
Denil admits his self-confidence and language skills have grown considerably since his early experiences of life in New Zealand. "It took me a while to understand Kiwi phrases and I was always asking people to repeat what they said because they spoke so quickly," says Denil. "Communication was difficult to start with; I had to adapt fast."
"I was lucky to find three other friends from my home state in India to share a house with while I was at UCOL. We had a lot of fun cooking meals together and we travelled a lot around the country. I think I've seen most of the North Island!"
Since his graduation from UCOL in 2017, Denil has been employed at Bio Serve NZ Limited in Auckland, firstly as Customer Service/Technician for the company's highly specialised medical equipment, and then as Assistant Biomedical Engineer.
He was recently appointed Clinical Engineering Technologist at the Waitemata District Health Board.
With his background in Biomedical Engineering, Denil likes to do the 'technical stuff', but admits he really enjoys the management duties such as planning budgets and timeframes for projects, procurement of products from suppliers, managing relationships with key suppliers and preparing budgets and inventory for the servicing of jobs.
Denil says the management skills he learned at UCOL, in conjunction with his technical skills, have been a great asset and will help in his profession aspirations.
"My dream is to become a Clinical Engineering Manager and an expert in the Biomedical Industry," he says. "I'm looking forward to seeing where my combination of knowledge and skills will take me in my career."