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Graduate profiles

Studying Marketing at Otago prepares you for the world!

You will graduate with not only a strong understanding of marketing theory and practice, but also the personal skills and habits that are essential for success in life: time management, presentation skills, leadership skills, and the ability to work in a team – to name but a few.

Find out where some of our Marketing graduates are today:

Terere Aoake

Marketing Coordinator, Te Puia
BCom

Based in Rotorua, Te Puia is one of the largest tourism attractions in New Zealand. The Institute maintains, develops and promotes Māori arts, crafts and culture. In my role, I deal with advertising contracts, working with designers as well as the advertising agency. I get to work closely with media groups and also with people on different marketing, digital and communication strategies. I studied marketing as it offered the opportunity to be creative and have a voice and, in this role, I can see how these attributes get results.

This is my first job since graduating and I believe that my employers looked favourably on my Otago BCom – it’s a degree that is valued around the country, and the world.

Rachael Baldwin

Marketing Manager, L'Oréal New Zealand
BCom & BSc

Joining L’Oréal’s graduate programme was fantastic – it gave me the opportunity to work on worldwide market-leading No. 1 beauty brands, and I gained exposure to both sales and marketing roles. I had the opportunity to further develop my career working in London with L’Oréal UK, and in my current role as Marketing Manager for the professional products division of L’Oréal New Zealand I have complete marketing responsibility for my brand: from product launches to promotions, pricing, forecasting, advertising and PR. No day is the same and I love that I’m offered both creative and analytical responsibilities, which my background in science and commerce prepared me well for. Every day is new and exciting with L’Oréal!

I chose to study at Otago as I had heard that the University had a great social atmosphere and academic reputation, and that Dunedin was very supportive of its students. My main expectation for life at Otago was to have loads of fun – and it certainly delivered on that! I also expected the quality of the academic staff to be high, and I would say that it delivered on that promise too. What I didn’t expect from my time at Otago was to make so many great and life-long friendships from the network of students and the community that the University creates – this was a bonus for sure.

Ngaia Calder

Research Manager - Focus Research
BCom(Hons)

I always wanted to study marketing, even from an early age there was something about brands and advertising that captured my attention. Studying Marketing at Otago did not disappoint – it reinforced my passion.

The variety of papers available kept me interested and enthusiastic, but it wasn’t until my honours year whilst completing my dissertation that I fell in love with research.

If someone had told me I would end up working in market research and loving it, I would have laughed. But my dissertation reminded me to appreciate that it is people, the consumers who are at the centre of everything we do as marketers.

After I graduated I began working as a Qualitative Research Executive at Focus Research, in Auckland. At Focus we utilise a solutions framework called NeedScope. Managing emotion, at every step of the marketing process, is critical. This means understanding the emotive dynamics in your category and your brand, and learning to speak the language of emotion with your consumers. NeedScope was developed specifically for this purpose – to ensure research at every stage of the marketing process addresses not just the rational side of consumers and brands, but also the emotive. The most rewarding part of my job is bringing the research to life, working with and alongside clients to activate the research – to make things happen.

The various research papers completed as part of my degree provided a strong foundation to develop my research instincts. In the Marketing department I felt like I belonged from day one. The wonderful staff provided all the inspiration and insight you need to carve your niche in the marketing world. I developed the ability to work as part of a team and use strong presentation skills with lots of opportunities to practise. This was a blessing in disguise as presenting compelling and insightful research to clients is a large part of what I do, what anyone in the industry must do. But the best thing about studying Marketing at Otago, the real cherry on top, is that I made life-long friends and created a strong and powerful network of up and coming marketers – who could ask for more…

Anna-Claire Clendon

Marketing & Sales Executive - enlight photo
BCom(Hons) & BA

The Marketing department at Otago is one of the largest in the Southern hemisphere which means whatever you are interested in you are going to get exposure to. At Otago the lecturers are continually pushing you to think outside the box and change your perceptions on how conventional marketing can be applied. I chose to do my dissertation on environmentally Sustainable Consumption Behaviour and I found a lot of support and enthusiasm for my ideas at Otago.

Currently, I am working for a young company, enlight photo ltd, which is based in New Zealand’s premier Business incubator, The ICEHOUSE. We manufacture and sell a photographic lighting accessory known as the orbis™ ring flash and are on track to exceed NZ$1m in revenue in our first trading year. In my role as Marketing and Sales Executive I am the entire marketing and sales department, so I get to work on everything. Last week I worked on sales manuals, managed our global distribution and media network, came up with a new segmentation strategy and directed a photo shoot.

Otago gives you great access to some excellent grad programmes in big companies and although I would like to work in this environment someday there are definitely benefits to working in a small business. By getting exposure to everything and being directly accountable for everything you do you gain experience quickly. I actually apply the theory I used in my classes everyday and I constantly need to update myself in the latest trends in Marketing in order to ensure my business comes out on top. I was always inspired by the entrepreneurs who spoke at Otago, now I work with them every day. The lessons I learnt at Otago were not just in the classroom. Studying here gives you all the ingredients you need to make it in the industry.

Erin Jackson

Assistant Brand Manager, Fonterra
BCom(Hons)

Working for New Zealand’s largest company and the world’s largest dairy ingredients provider is a dream come true. Being part of the Fonterra Graduate Programme, I get the chance to experience four diverse roles in different parts of Fonterra’s business within two years. Working for Fonterra Ingredients, I’m helping to promote Fonterra’s range of high-value dairy ingredients and solutions to leading global food and nutrition companies. Next up, I’ll be working with some of New Zealand’s best-loved brands in Fonterra’s consumer business including Mainland, Fresh ’n Fruity and Anchor. As the world’s largest investor in dairy-based research and innovation and with operations in more than 36 countries, the opportunities are endless.

Alison Shanks

New Zealand Professional Cyclist and 2009 Track Cycling World Champion
BCom(Hons) & BSc

I am a full-time cyclist – which I view like running my own business. I am the product. Training and performing is the major aspect but to be able to earn a living through what I do I have had to apply my marketing skills to attract sponsors to provide financial support. I now have a close family of sponsors: Mizone sports drink, Avanti Bikes, Rainbow Print, 2XU clothing, Beef & Lamb NZ, Oakley, and Dunedin City Mazda. They support me and in return I endorse their products and brands.

Public Relations is another important aspect of my ‘job’ which includes media interviews, magazine editorials and guest speaking engagements. I feel the five years of study at Otago University have equipped me with essential skills, given me the confidence to identify and grab opportunities when presented to me, and have enabled me to commit to being a professional athlete in New Zealand.

The necessary theoretical background of a subject (Marketing) is taught at the base level and then the invaluable practical applications are added at the higher levels. The learning environment enables you to challenge current thoughts and extend yourself in specific areas of interest. Otago staff were also very accommodating to enable me to fit my sporting commitments with my study.

Otago University equips you with life skills and knowledge so when you walk into the 'real world' you can bravely set big goals and chase your dreams with confidence. I never planned to become a professional cyclist, but I feel I am living my dreams and while I don't sit at a marketing desk, I use the skills learnt in my degrees every day.

Dave Shoemack

Export Marketing Manager - DB Breweries
BCom(Hons)

I’m very lucky, in that I have a role that I love waking up for every day, a product that I love, and a brand that I’m very passionate about.

With Export being a New Zealand brand the buck stops with me which is great – we have very little trouble getting innovative ideas to market. No day is ever the same, and the best thing about a role in brand management is the breadth – I’m ultimately responsible for my brands research, PR, design, advertising, pricing, and performance! But that’s the great thing – it’s impossible to get bored.

Having started with Heineken and now moved on to the Export family of brands, I’m loving managing a portfolio, and the long term planning and strategy that goes with it to ensure future success.