Daryn Tokhtarov’s wife had one condition when he announced he wanted to take on postgraduate study out of their homeland of Kazakhstan – beaches and palm trees.
Many evenings spent scouring the internet led Daryn to hit on Auckland and, in particularly, the Eastern Institute of Technology’s (EIT’s) International Campus in the city.
A multi-talented renewable energy expert from Kazakhstan, Daryn enrolled in the Masters of Applied Management and is now set to graduate this year.
He has since started a job as a commercial analyst with Vector Fibre in Auckland.
The reasons he came to New Zealand were the country’s natural beauty and because he felt that EIT looked like a high-quality tertiary education provider.
“Like many people across the globe, my wife Aigul and I were captivated by the magnificent scenery featured in the Lord of the Rings films and others, and that inspired us to seriously consider this amazing country as a future home for us and our two young children.”
Forty-year-old Daryn, who also has a passion for screenwriting and making movies in his spare time, has two other children from previous relationships, and he is looking forward to seeing them again now that the borders are reopening.
Daryn says he enjoyed his time at EIT and especially appreciated the institute’s commitment to supporting students.
However, he says there have been some challenges since the family relocated in October 2019.
“A few months after we moved COVID-19 hit, and we were in lockdown. But we were so lucky to be here because the situation in Kazakhstan has not been good.”
Daryn, who has degrees in economics and law, had a varied career in construction and investment before deciding to start a new life for his family in New Zealand.
Daryn has been impressed with Vector Fibre’s innovative environment, supportive workplace culture and opportunities to develop professionally across different business units.
With his children thriving in their new homeland, Daryn is keen to provide opportunities for them to embrace their Kazakh culture and he has been instrumental in the formation and development of the Kazakh Community in New Zealand. This group aims to help newcomers and foster mutually beneficial relationships between both countries.
“As a family, we are happy and my only concern is that having to currently work from home I am not improving my English as quickly as I would like to,” says Daryn.
Cherie Freeman, EIT’s Auckland Campus Director, say Daryn quickly settled into postgraduate studies when he joined EIT, and he willingly shared his wealth of knowledge and experience with other students.
“EIT has students from many different countries and cultures, but Daryn was our first student from Kazakhstan. Daryn’s EIT Masters in Applied Management is an applied Masters qualification that will continue to provide future career opportunities for Daryn in New Zealand.”
“We are so pleased Daryn chose New Zealand and EIT as the place to study.”