Asia Savvy 2019


Kelsey Eaton, Logistics / Committee co-lead

I am Kelsey Eaton, a 4th year Commercial Law and Economics Student at The University of Auckland. I play Hockey in my spare time and really enjoy learning languages such as Spanish and Mandarin Chinese!

I have a passion for bringing people together and ‘all things Asia’ which amazingly led me to being a part of the 2019 Asia Savvy Team! I am humbled to be a part of this endeavour to bridge these two cultures and I look forward to meeting you all at this year’s conference.

Abby Wong, Registrations

I am currently a second-year student studying a Law and Arts conjoint. 2019 marks the year I will have spent half my life living in Auckland while having grown up in Singapore. As both societies are of a multicultural nature, this has formed my belief that cultural diversity is incredibly valuable. Similar to what my migrant experience has taught me, Asia Savvy is about finding the interface between different cultures and building intercultural competence. I’m delighted to be your Registrations Manager for this year’s conference, and hope to see you there!

Allan Chan, Marketing / Committee co-lead

I am a final year Commerce student at the University of Auckland pursuing a major in Marketing and International Business. I am born and raised in Auckland and proud to call myself a ‘New Zealand Chinese’. As such I have experienced first-hand, the diversity and differences these two cultures bring.

In an ever-evolving global business environment, I will be marketing what Asia Savvy’s conference can bring to the table. I hope to inform like-minded students of the impact, rewards and challenges of doing business in Asia.

With the conference this year, I am looking forward to exploring this region further through thoughtful discussion, connecting students together and networking with industry professionals. I believe every student this year will take something away from the conference that will grow their understanding of the Asian region and the unique connection it has with New Zealand.

Deepika Jindal, Project Manager

I am a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland’s Graduate School of Management. I earned my Phd in May 2018. My thesis focused on the impact of implementation of human resource management (HRM) practices, by the supervisors, on work engagement, job crafting, and job performance of the employees. Prior to my doctoral studies, I have worked for a large Indian manufacturing conglomerate (Trident Ltd.) for around 10 years in the HRM area. I have been working at the University of Auckland Business School since February 2014, on various courses related to business, general management and HRM. I have also been involved with various research projects related to HRM and organisational behaviour in the past years. I am the project manager for the Annual Asia Savvy conference (2019). My role is to manage different activities related to the conference, provide support to the committee and organise sponsors/speakers. I look forward to meeting a diverse set of participants at the conference and engage in meaningful discussions around this year’s theme: building a successful career in the Asian century.

Marie Ysabel Landingin, Communications

I am a “Filipino-Kiwi” based in West Auckland who migrated to New Zealand just over a decade ago and a third-year Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) student. I am deeply interested in Asia and cultural diversity in the urban and global context.
I am delighted to be part of the 2019 Asia Savvy team. I believe that the emerging presence of Asian communities, particularly in Auckland, demands further open-minded exploration into Asia’s influence on shaping New Zealand’s increasingly cosmopolitan and urban future. This opportunity to engage with a diverse group of global-thinking change makers creates an invaluable platform to explore this exciting future. I look forward to learning from like-minded people with inspiring stories and ideas to share.

Dinah Towle, Adviser

My role in the University of Auckland is Coordinator for New Zealand Asia Institute. I have been involved with the Asia Savvy conference since its inception in 2011, mostly in the role of project management. I am privileged to be part of the on-going development of Asia Savvy, giving me the opportunity to work with a diverse range of students who are clearly passionate about the importance of being Asia Savvy. I thoroughly enjoy working through the challenges we face each year crafting a topical conference with our student committee and bringing our audience a relevant, innovative and thought-provoking event.

Deepika will bring a new flavour to this year’s event with some exciting new workshops and a great student committee.

Rosalie Alter-Shaw, University of Auckland

I am currently finishing off the third and final year of my Japanese and Sociology degree. I moved up to the University of Auckland specifically to be closer to New Zealand’s greatest Asian hub. As such, I spend most of my spare time wandering around the wider city, searching to get my hands on the Asian ingredients I couldn’t find in my home town!

I first travelled to Japan when I was four years old and have been hooked ever since. Being in East and South East Asia makes me feel more alive than any other place on earth, inspiring a curiosity to learn more about these places in any way I can.

Here in New Zealand we are perfectly primed to take advantage of the “Asian century”, so I can’t wait to meet you all at this year’s conference and learn more together!


Andrew Miles, Victoria University of Wellington

Andrew is currently working towards a Masters in Strategic Studies at Victoria having completed his BA in International Relations and Political Science.

As a student of international relations and strategy, he finds Asia is central to many discussions in his world today. From a foreign policy perspective, there is no denying that Asia is going to play a central role in the next 50+ years of international relations. 

Andrew has spent some time in Asia and this has increased his interest in the region.

Hamish Chan, University of Auckland

Hamish is completing his last year of a Commerce degree, majoring in Economics and Finance. He was born and raised in Gisborne for the first 10 years of his life and then moved to Auckland. He feels he has lived a rather ‘classic kiwi life’ for the past 21 years.

He is a proud New Zealand born Chinese and is pleased to be an Ambassador for Asia Savvy. He sees this role as being a conduit to connect New Zealand and Chinese people to help them with cultural understanding and learning about career prospects in NZ and Asia. Hamish looks forward to meeting some curious individuals and have a chat with everyone at our upcoming conference!

Ramesh Nair, University of Auckland

I am currently studying towards a Master of Engineering Management at the University of Auckland. Before moving to Auckland, I worked in India as a professional Engineer at various levels. I have had the privilege to work with some of the best known Chinese, Japanese, Indian, US, and German companies during my professional life. This has made me more aware of the work culture and other aspects of cultural sensitivities and helped me develop my pluralistic outlook.

I believe that in a century potentially led by Asian superpowers, the professionals for tomorrow need to have more knowledge about perspectives from the Asian angle. Asia Savvy Conference is the right place for learning more about Asia.

As an Asia Savvy Ambassador, I look forward to applying my experience and knowledge towards the success of this year’s conference.

Ferg Grenfell, Victoria University of Wellington

I am studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in International Business, Marketing and Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. Originally from Christchurch, I made the move to Wellington in 2016 for my studies, which I will complete at the end of 2019.

I have a keen interest on business in Asia and am excited for the learning experience that the Asia Savvy Conference will provide. Asia-New Zealand relations are becoming closer-knit and there are new opportunities emerging every single day. As an Ambassador, I hope to get other Kiwi students on board for the conference and thinking about such opportunities.

Outside of my studies, I have a passion for sports and cooking – particularly Asian cuisine. I also have a passion for travel, with plenty of Asian nations ticked off the list so far.


Chantelle Tan, Auckland University of Technology

I’m a first-year student studying a Business and Communications conjoint which has been interesting so far. Last year I attended the Asia Savvy Conference and am so excited to be part of it this year.

One of my ambitions is to one day travel around Asia and learn first-hand about the textile industry and the levels of sustainability in the practices from commercial manufacturing to traditional processes. Even though I can’t study textiles, as courses here have been cancelled, it has not dampened my aspiration to build networks and travel in Asia one day – only now in a different way.

I think for personal growth it is important to make opportunities for yourself and to embrace new experiences that can develop who you are as a person and your future potential and this is one of those conferences that can encourage a new perspective about the world and your place in it.

I’m easily excitable and I look forward to meeting you all.

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