Strategic Planner, Colenso BBDO
Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Communication Studies conjoint programmes
Being able to study and intern in the USA was the highlight of her studies, says AUT alumna Amy Pollok who completed a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Communication Studies.
“Being able to go on student exchange to San Diego State University and participate in the AUT Internz programme definitely stand out as highlights. The opportunity to take marketing courses in an international setting gave me valuable insight into how the industry operates on a global scale.
“After graduating, I also completed an internship at a start-up called Booktrack in San Francisco, working out of the Kiwi Landing Pad, which is a hub for New Zealand businesses expanding into the US. It was an incredibly enlightening experience, and gave me an appreciation for tech culture and the future of business,” says Amy who got her internship through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme, which enables AUT graduates to immerse themselves in a new market and culture.
“These kinds of opportunities truly are world class, and many of my peers at other universities were floored that AUT offers such impressive programmes to its students. My advice for other students is to work hard and apply for everything – all the fancy scholarships, exchanges and opportunities aren’t there for show; they’re there for you.”
Finding her path
After initially enrolling in law at another university, Amy came to AUT when she realised that she wanted a creative career.
“After years of assuming I’d end up a lawyer, I realised that I needed more creativity in my studies, which is why I enrolled in communication studies. However, I didn’t want to sacrifice business acumen, so I chose to do the Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Communication Studies conjoint programmes, majoring in marketing and advertising creativity. It was the perfect way to pursue both creative and business studies.”
Changing programmes wasn’t an easy decision, Amy admits.
“At first I wasn’t sure if AUT held the same pedigree as other universities. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The learning culture, smaller class sizes and focus on real work have been instrumental in my professional success and set me up incredibly well for my career.”
A rewarding career
As a strategic planner for Colenso BBDO, Amy constantly draws on what she learned at AUT.
“Strategic planning is a hybrid discipline of creativity and business – it requires knowledge of our clients’ business operations, and a creative ability to solve problems, identify issues and come up with creative solutions. It’s rewarding when you create a campaign that resonates with people and delivers great results for the client. I’m also privileged to work with many fantastic brands.
“In this role I often draw on what I learned throughout my studies – the creative skills I learned through communications, my business knowledge, an ability to absorb an enormous amount of material, and an understanding of how to be persuasive and craft a presentation or a report that tells a compelling story.”