Claire Murray jumped up in the middle of a L'Oreal recruiting session and leaped straight into her dream job.
As a third-year marketing student eager to break into a multinational company, she knew she had to milk every second of the cosmetic giant's visit to the Otago campus where it calls annually to scoop up the country's brightest marketers. Her only problem was, she had a timetable clash involving the small company she was running parallel to her studies.
"I had to leave to shoot off to a meeting and had to stand up halfway through the presentation and say 'I'm really sorry I've got to go but my name's Claire Murray and you'll be seeing me again'."
They were prophetic words, as now the company sees her every day in her role of regional manager for the North Island and Nelson. What is a slim window of opportunity for undergraduates is wider at Otago than elsewhere, with five of L'Oreal's seven graduate recruits originating here.
"They definitely comment that it's one of the better catchments for up-and-coming marketers."
Now an Auckland-based hotshot, Claire remembers her Otago days fondly.
"I loved studying at Otago for the social reasons but I also did thoroughly enjoy the Marketing Department and its team. Overall the papers were diverse enough to give you a taste of everything.
"I definitely loved the 300-level papers where you got to work on your own with one or two other team players. Hands-on things like that were just the challenge I needed."