Scott says that Otago has a huge amount to offer people who want to succeed in the business world.
If you want to create an internationally successful software company from scratch before you have reached your 25th birthday, one of the things you will probably need is a good marketing strategy.
University of Otago Marketing graduate Scott Cardwell, now the Marketing Manager for Language Perfect, knows all about this.
In 2008, Scott’s best friend, Craig Smith (Founder of Language Perfect), asked Scott to help him with his idea of creating a “Language Olympics”; a major online competition in which thousands of language students from around New Zealand would compete for points and prizes.
This, in turn, would provide promotional and networking opportunities for their nascent company, which was developing educational software aimed at high school language students. It turned out be an inspired move. Three years down the track, Scott estimates that seven out of 10 New Zealand high school language students are now using the software.
Scott says that Otago has a huge amount to offer people who want to succeed in the business world. “There are just so many opportunities to get practical, real-world experience while you are studying,” he says.
He offers as an example his experience as a member of the Otago team that won the National Business Case Competition in 2009 and travelled to Canada to compete with teams from around the world.
“Aside from being great fun, and giving students the opportunity to travel the world for free, these competitions are run by leaders in the business community, so the networking opportunities are crucial,” he says.
One of Scott’s goals for 2011 is to help the Language Olympics, now in its fourth year, to set the world record for the largest online language competition. They will need one million participants in order to achieve this – no mean feat, he readily admits: “But we’re definitely up for the challenge.”