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Students on the steps of the Information Services Building

Jennifer Macindoe. Jennifer Macindoe
BA Art History/BCom

The day after exams finished, Arts and Commerce graduate Jennifer Macindoe applied for a job as business analyst with Heinz Watties. Two weeks later, she started work.

Based in the Wellington Sales Office, Macindoe works closely with supermarkets to promote the company's products - analysing sales data and designing promotional programmes that will outsmart their competitors. It's hard work.

"With so many small, very innovative players, it's a challenge to keep making the products attractive to consumers," she says. "But that's what makes the job so exciting."

Marketing wasn't always on Macindoe's agenda. She started her University career in Wellington - in Law and Arts - but after two years, decided to switch courses and campuses.

"You have to commute to Vic, but at Otago you can live across the road from the campus, and all your friends live nearby - it's a world of its own."

As well as a BA in Art History, she decided to take on a Bachelor of Commerce: "I was able to cross credit all my papers in the end, so doing a double degree was relatively easy." Why commerce? "I was looking for something that would lead to work and marketing appeals because it's half-way between number-crunching and being creative," she says. "What's so good about the department at Otago, is that the staff, between them, have a wide range of experience in the field. Even now, I sometimes drag out my old marketing projects when I'm working on a new business plan."

It's not only her Commerce degree that has practical application to Macindoe's work. "The skills I learned in the first three years - research, writing, critiquing, always working to deadline - are invaluable. "

"And because I didn't know where I was heading in the beginning, I took heaps of different papers - things like Classics, English, Management, Economics and Finance. Having a broad knowledge, I believe, is extremely valuable in itself."

It also gave her plenty of options. "By the time I'd finished, I could have chosen any number of areas to work in. There's something to be said for not narrowing your focus too soon."

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