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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:

Bernadette Samau

Bernadette Samau (Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship, National University of Samoa)
Graduated 2023, Doctor of Philosophy, Marketing Management

I am a senior management and marketing lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship at the National University of Samoa. As a senior lecturer, my roles include teaching, engaging in academic research and mentoring junior staff on their research projects.

Education is the key to limitless opportunities, and as a passionate educator I enjoy contributing to quality tertiary education through academic teaching and research. One of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of my role is seeing my students graduate and find jobs in their relevant fields of study. My style of teaching is inspired by a 'think global, act local' approach. It's my responsibility to develop and enhance the level of analytical and critical thinking of my students through practical activities and assessments. It's always a joy to see students confidently apply global theories to local management and marketing business decision-making. When I see that my students have successfully made the transition from understanding a concept to application and justification, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I have prepared them well for life after tertiary education.

Since completing my PhD in Marketing Management at Otago, I was fortunate to cross paths with prominent academic researchers from the Pacific region and a few universities in the USA. I have since collaborated on projects such as marketing and agriculture; and culture, medicine and tattooing. There are so many research collaboration opportunities at my feet, especially as the first Samoan to graduate with a PhD in Marketing Management, it's a real blessing.

Key Otago takeaway – Otago is a worldclass place to study! I was blessed with the best supervisors. I felt at home with the love and support of my department, supervisors and PhD colleagues. I truly miss the place and its people, and that speaks volumes on how much I enjoyed my PhD experience at Otago.

Charlotte Davis

Charlotte Davis (Marketing Graduate, The Arnott's Group)
Graduated 2023, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing Management)

During my time at Arnott's, I have been given the opportunity to develop my skillset and management qualities by leading numerous projects. I am involved in managing the full process of bringing a new product to market – one of my projects is the launch of NPD, which is super exciting! Leading this project has allowed me to work cross-functionally across the business, and to understand and manage all the various touchpoints involved with NPD – from engaging retailers, working with designers and packaging technologists, working with our agency to create assets and creative, as well as logistics and supply chain to ensure the product is ready for launch.

Working across our various brands means every day in my role is slightly different, projects can involve market research, campaign development and delivery, managing competitions and giveaways, creating marketing strategies, project management and launching new products, like NPD. It's also super rewarding working on brands like Tim Tam and Shapes that are so well loved and recognised in New Zealand.

Key Otago takeaway – My time at Otago taught me to be independent, always curious, and the importance of building strong relationships. The Otago community is truly unique to any other university community, and I am very grateful for the strong relationships I built during my time there.

Lucy King

Engagement and Marketing Executive for ImpactLab, a social-tech enterprise whose vision is to create a world where investment works for communities so they can live the lives they choose
Graduated 2019, LLB/BCom (Marketing Management Major)
Graduated 2021, MMart (Distinction), Mueller Heumann Prize Winner

Through our GoodMeasure tool, ImpactLab connects decision makers with information they can act on to grow their social impact.

The engagement side of my role entails managing customer relationships with charitable organisations who are seeking to understand the social value they create for Aotearoa. I am equally responsible for planning and delivering ImpactLab's marketing communications to establish our brand as strong and trusted in the marketplace. This involves growing our online presence via social media, regularly refreshing our website, and generating awareness through strategic partnerships.

Key Otago takeaway – My experience at Otago has been a key influence on my character. Aside from my education, it has taught me to always be inquisitive, resilient, and independent - which are three things I bring to work each day!

Matthew Clough

Creative and Digital Marketer at Antony & Mates
Graduated 2021 BCom (Marketing Major, Management Minor)

My job involves creating and executing marketing campaigns for a wide array of clients across many industries. I am constantly meeting with new clients, analysing their needs, and developing an effective marketing strategy to help reach their goals. My role is specifically digital based, where I am creating, maintaining and analysing multiple campaigns across TVNZ, Billboard, Social Media and Google advertising platforms, developing websites and performing SEO.

Key Otago takeaway – Relationships are one of the most powerful tools in business. Studying at Otago taught me how to build and maintain relationships with people from many different backgrounds. At the end of the day, it is not just what you know, but who you know.

Liv Payne

Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator at Life Flight Trust, a not-for-profit organisation providing free emergency aeromedical care
Graduated 2019, BCom (Marketing Major, Minor: Accounting and Communications)

As we are a charity, my job involves wearing many hats. This can range from looking after social media, brand management, running and aiding fundraising events, to electronic communications alongside our key appeals. I also am extremely privileged to talk with our former patients to help share their Life Flight story with our amazing supporters. On top of my normal job, I am also the Marketing Director for a one-man production, He Māori, showing at BATS Theatre and at the Tahi Festival alongside our small but mighty team!

Key Otago takeaway – I really appreciated the versatility of the Bachelor of Commerce degree. It gave me a broad range of skills essential for any career. I was able to be creative through my marketing major and my communication studies minor, as well as learn practical skills with my accounting minor and the core business papers. I loved how flexible I could make my degree and how course material and group projects applied to the real business world.

Amy Martin

Brand Manager – Retail at Silver Ferns Farms
Graduated 2018 BCom (Marketing and Management Majors)
Graduated 2020, MMart

My job involves brand equity growth in the NZ retail channel. Specifically this means managing agency relationships to deliver PR, print media and TVNZ partnerships, campaign development and delivery (such as seasonal promotions). As well as in store sampling campaigns and media, merchandising (to grow our core branded retail), NPD development and delivery, value creation and channel strategies, and manage all consumer facing events. So a little bit of everything across a broad range of marketing activities.

Key Otago takeaway – The research and analysis skills I learnt at Otago really helped my career progression and my worth in the job marketplace. Also, learning how to synthesis information, formulate an argument and justify it are skills I use every day in my work.

Lauren Watson

NZ Business Manager at Tasti Products
Graduated 2006, BCom (Marketing Major, Minor Psychology)

My job involves driving sales and brand presence of Tasti's brands and products throughout all major and smaller grocery retailers. While ensuring we build and maintain strong partnerships with the retailers, a lot of time is spent on category analysis and presenting NPD, category insights and marketing support plans to retailers with the objective of driving category growth. In addition, a large part of the role entails reviewing promotional effectiveness and ROIs, pricing modelling, monitoring competitor activity, setting retailer strategies and implementing these in the market together with the wider business – in particular, the marketing and supply chain teams. Representing a company that reinvests profits into product innovation and also saving the Kiwi birds is the best bit!

Key Otago takeaway – Working in different areas of marketing and sales early on in my career really helped the different marketing topics I studied at Otago fit together. The more you understand how the different marketing cogs fit together, the more it helps later on in your career to understand the bigger picture, how one department interacts with another.

Jen Rolfe

Managing Partner at Rainger and Rolfe Creative Agency
Graduated 1993 BCom (First Class Honours, Marketing)

My job involves producing campaigns such as the award-winning campaign for Texas Chicken New Zealand and a recent University of Otago campaign.

I love the creativity of agencies – they tend to be tolerant, open, inspiring places to work with people who don't know how to stop working. They are passionate about innovation, insight, and telling stories well.

Key Otago takeaway – I may have left some twenty mumble years ago but I still feel such a huge sense of ownership and pride for the place. Visiting the Stadium regularly while on the Board and seeing the facilities of the University grow, the attitude and qualities of graduates and staff made me realise how lucky I was to have attended one of the best marketing schools in the world. It was the making of me.

Olly Casey

Assistant Brand Manager, Frucor Suntory

I'm an Assistant Brand Manager at Frucor Suntory, working on leading brands such as Just Juice, Fresh-Up, and The Real McCoy.

Every day while I am working on brand strategy, product development, consumer research, market tracking, brand tracking or campaign management, I'm making use of the principles I learned at Otago. In my first year on the job, I've launched multiple new products, met with consumers, analysed market trends, project-managed technical and manufacturing teams, and developed strategic marketing campaigns. The reward is seeing our products in stores all throughout New Zealand!

Terere Aoake

Marketing Coordinator, Te Puia

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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