Corporate Communications Manager, Jarden
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations
Working on a public relations campaign for a not-for-profit organisation was one of the highlights of his studies, says Adam Szentes who completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations, with a minor in Journalism.
“In my final year at AUT, I worked alongside other PR students on a campaign through AUT’s student-based PR consultancy, Outside the Square. We were working to build awareness and organise a community event for an organisation aiming to prevent domestic abuse and family violence. They were reframing the conversation by highlighting what positive relationships look like.
“It was inspiring to be able to listen to the experiences of people that the organisation had worked with, and help share them wider. The experience showed me, first-hand, the impact communications can have on communities and society.”
Supported to thrive
Throughout his studies, he loved being exposed to new and different ways of thinking, says Adam, whose passion for public relations was recognised with a number of awards, including the award for the top student in AUT’s Public Relations major.
“I was interested in the variety of subjects covered by the Bachelor of Communication Studies, and also liked the approach of drawing from a wide base of knowledge to inform your career path. The mix of theory with practical experience in ‘the field’ was an approach that resonated with me, and I also enjoyed meeting new people and building great relationships while I was at university.
“Our lecturers encouraged us to seek out internships and become involved in the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ). When I started getting experience in the industry, it enriched what I was studying in the degree, and enabled me to realise how everything fit together.”
Being chosen as the graduate speaker for the 2017 communication studies class was a special moment for Adam, whose studies were supported by an AUT Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship as well as a Freemasons Charity Scholarship.
“Speaking at the graduation ceremony on behalf of the communication studies cohort was a real honour and also quite emotional. It was an incredible moment; looking out at everyone in the Aotea Centre and saying, ‘We did it’.”
A rewarding communications career
After graduating from AUT at the end of 2017, Adam spent several years at communications consultancy Porter Novelli, finishing up as a senior account manager. He joined investment and advisory group Jarden as corporate communications manager at the start of 2021.
“In this role, I’m able to cover a wide range of areas, from our external communications and media engagement, to internal communications and social media. I love the breadth and depth of the topics I’m able to learn, working with a range of specialists across Jarden.”
A key part of his role is identifying and communicating angles, drawn from the analysis of Jarden’s experts – using the team’s reports and research to add context to different areas.
“One day it might be discussing the potential impact of rising interest rates on those with a mortgage, the next day highlighting important factors around investment and retirement planning, or it could be discussing the impact of changes in a particular sector or company on consumers and investors.”
Adam is passionate about using communications to make a positive social impact, and says that working at Jarden provides him with many opportunities to do this.
“Economic issues and developments affect us all. It’s exciting - exploring different ways to show how our lives and decisions connect with economics, financial markets, and current affairs.”