Gemma Moore

Gemma Moore

Customer Operations Assistant, Squirrel
Bachelor of Arts in Event Management & Bachelor of Business in Finance conjoint programmes

She has some big plans for her working future, says Gemma Moore who completed Bachelor of Arts in Event Management & Bachelor of Business in Finance conjoint programmes.

“I thoroughly enjoy constantly being challenged and learning about the finance industry every day in my role in the investments team at Squirrel. I love seeing myself grow as a young professional in the corporate world. I’m enjoying the ‘hustle and bustle’ of working in finance and seeing how far I can take my career.”

As much as she is loving working in the finance world now, initially Gema had quite a different career in mind when she came to university; she was dreaming of a career as a wedding planner.

“It had always been a dream of mine to have my own wedding planning business, and I’ve long had a passion for events and organising events. Studying event management was perfect for me, but I wanted to also do a business degree to give me more options and found a passion for finance in my second semester.

“I still have a strong passion for events, and still see myself working in this space. However, for the moment, I want to keep developing with more qualifications and achievements. I feel the finance industry will provide this opportunity. I’m heavily involved with the events at Squirrel, and this gives me the joy and satisfaction I’ve always loved with event management.”

Highlights and achievements
Gemma, who graduated from AUT in 2023, had a number of highlights throughout her time at university.

“I made many lifelong friends and met some amazing people, which made my experience at university so enjoyable. This programme is challenging but the results are rewarding. It teaches you some very important skills that are useful throughout many aspects of life, not just in university.”

One of the achievements she is especially proud of is participating in the TCS Sustainathon 2022, a problem-solving competition for university students in Australia and New Zealand to address real-world sustainability challenges using the power of technology.

“My teammate Xanthe and I decided to participate in the Sustainathon because we wanted to do something a bit different. The challenge we chose was for Virgin Australia, and we had to come up with an idea to reduce cabin waste in aircrafts and airports to improve sustainability in the travel sector.

“Our idea was to encourage consumers to change their habits, and give them an option to not take an in-flight meal and receive a reward instead, for example frequent flyer points. This would reduce the amount of waste produced. We also suggested a ‘food stop’ where people could sample the food before deciding if they wanted a meal. Our idea earned us an invite to the gala event in Sydney where we won first place in the TCS Sustainathon 2022 Virgin Australia Challenge on Cabin Waste: Keep it Circling Not Grounded.”

Advice for other students
Gemma’s advice for other students is simple: do what you want to do; don’t let other people’s opinions change your path.

“I know we hear it all the time but my time at AUT really showed me how important it is to do what you want, as so many more great opportunities can come from doing something you love and want to do. University is the time to be truly yourself, so try new things and do what you want to do.”

There was one particular lecturer who helped her find her path in event management.

“Richard Ajiee had so much faith in me from the start of my course, and really encouraged me to be the best event leader I could. He helped me and my team produce a successful event as part of this class. He sparked my passion for events and helped prove to me that I can do anything.”