Meeting famous people and helping them promote their brands are key aspects of Sally-Anne Kerr's work as producer of TVNZ show Good Morning; so celebrity branding occurred as a natural topic for her University of Otago Master of Entrepreneurship.
Sally-Anne says her international career, working first as a lawyer in banking and finance, then as a television director and producer, taught her that "this rapidly changing world” is increasingly full of entrepreneurs forging their own career paths.
“I decided I wanted more business knowledge. Entrepreneurship seemed both an interesting and very practical degree. Otago's Master's course was really the best choice; particularly since the way it's run allowed me to continue living and working in Auckland, and it suited my work experience and background.”
The Master of Entrepreneurship has six papers, each with an intensive four day on-campus course – for which Sally-Anne travelled to Dunedin - plus assignments. Students then undertake a business incubation report of a real-life business project. Sally-Anne's topic lay right at hand.
“I meet a lot of celebrities. Their personal 'brand' changes and grows according to what they are known for. Each brand is a business that needs strategic planning and development in order to grow,” says Sally-Anne, who worked on the incubation report with fellow Master's student, Jules Mark.
Opening up career possibilities
“The report work gave me a business framework for assessing projects. It expanded the scope of what I can do at TVNZ, gave me more confidence and opened up my career possibilities.”
Sally-Anne says her Skype relationship with her supervisor, Marketing Senior Lecturer Alexandra (Sanna) Ganglmair, was great.
“Sanna encouraged us and steered us in the right direction. Marketing's Liaison Librarian Catherine Robertson was fantastic, too, in terms of advice and research. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course – for me it really worked.”