As the marketing manager for two of AUT’s faculties, Stanton Dunn is responsible for promoting a wide range of programmes – from teacher education degrees to PhDs in social sciences. It’s a challenge he full-heartedly embraces.
“I see myself as a values-driven person, and I think this role is much bigger than myself. Essentially, we’re helping people decide what they will do for the rest of their life.”
Stanton first joined AUT in 2015, when he returned to New Zealand after volunteering in Namibia for 18 months.
“My wife and I were both born in Africa, but we hadn’t lived there since we were kids, so we looked at voluntary positions where we could make a difference and experience living in Africa. We ended up in Namibia, teaching at different schools. After I came back to Auckland, I had an interview for a marketing co-ordinator role at AUT, and I immediately knew that AUT was the right place for me.”
AUT is inclusive, Stanton says.
“What I love about working at AUT is that different views are welcomed and encouraged. That makes a huge difference. I’ve never worked in an organisation before where my culture was represented. You can feel welcome and be part of the conversation, no matter what your background is.”
Social clubs and staff network groups are among the many ways AUT staff can meet like-minded colleagues, and Stanton is a member of two of them – the African Staff Network and the Culture Connect committee.
“AUT’s African Staff Network runs events for staff, and sometimes students, of African backgrounds. We currently have staff from more than 20 African countries on our mailing list, and it’s great to be able to connect with other staff from similar backgrounds.
“I’m also part of the Culture Connect committee at AUT, which is essentially the parent group for the African Staff Network and similar staff groups. Throughout the year we organise a number of events with a cultural focus – from a welcome event for new staff to the cultural celebration at the end of the year.”
Nurturing careers and family life
AUT staff have access to a wide range of opportunities, says Stanton.
“I appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to study through AUT and work towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies. That has been awesome, and the papers have been very beneficial for my everyday work. I also feel that my career aspirations have been encouraged – I’ve been here for three years and I’ve been able to progress in my career as AUT has nurtured the potential they saw in me.”
But career progression is not the only thing that is being nurtured by AUT, says Stanton who just became a father for the first time.
“I’ve been gifted with nine weeks’ parental leave, which just shows that AUT is a very family friendly organisation. AUT really cares about its staff and emphasizes a work life balance.”