Although Claire Lau graduated from the University of Otago with a BCom, this was not what she’d originally planned.
“I started at Otago studying First Year Health Science and took an extra marketing paper. I ended up enjoying it so much I decided to pursue Marketing as my degree. I added a minor in Information Science as I knew it would be helpful to have IT knowledge and skills as our world becomes more integrated with technology. I also chose Entrepreneurship as a minor as I aspire to start my own company one day, and I love innovation.”
Claire’s Entrepreneurship minor complemented her other subjects and offered her the chance to develop valuable skills in a creative and collaborative way.
“I enjoyed that Entrepreneurship gave us the opportunity to develop and produce our own ideas and products. I also thrived at the challenge of working with many different people.
“The entrepreneurial skillset has allowed me to be more creative and taught me to plan carefully and be well prepared. You and your plans need to be flexible and able to adapt to changes and challenges.”
Although Claire didn't really know what to expect studying at Otago, her experience was better than she could have imagined.
“Everyone and everything is so close by and the student community is so supportive. The lecturers are great, they're very approachable and helpful when you need assistance. Otago has amazing facilities as well, from the new Commerce Building to the free Unipol sports centre.”
Shortly after graduating, Claire started on the Unilever Future Leaders Programme, which involves a rotating role.
“So far, it has been a huge learning curve but I am loving every second of it. My studies definitely helped prepare me, but it was participating in Case Competitions that really helped the most. They gave me the opportunity to apply everything I had learned to real-world scenarios and helped me develop my collaboration and public speaking skills further.”
“For my first rotation in my role, I am the New Product Development Activation Assistant for Foods and Refreshments. I am in charge of organising all the codes, forms, point of sale advertising and samples for new Unilever ice creams and foods. This involves a lot of collaboration between different teams within and outside of the company.”
“Most of my colleagues here at Unilever also studied at Otago, which only demonstrates how great Otago's graduates are!”