Georgia Sanderson

Georgia Sanderson

Marketing & Sales Co-ordinator, Moët Hennessy New Zealand
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Marketing
Bachelor of Business in Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales

Ngāpuhi

She loves being part of a large global company with a wealth of knowledge in the industry, says business alumna Georgia Sanderson who is now the marketing and sales co-ordinator for Moët Hennessy New Zealand.

“I feel like I’m learning so much about how marketing processes work in a large company, with luxury FMCG products that rely heavily on marketing activities to push product sales. I’ve been a part of various successful brand activations like the Cloudy Bay Wonderscape event on Waiheke Island, hosting some of our trade customers and consumers. I’m also currently working on some awesome projects across our brands, including Hennessy, Moët, Veuve Clicquot and Glenmorangie. I’m excited to see where my career can grow.”

Business has always been something she has been surrounded by growing up.

“My dad is an entrepreneur with various businesses of his own. Being the youngest of four children, I watched all of my siblings head in the direction of various business degrees and going on to find jobs in their chosen field. I left school at the end of Year 12, so that I could start university one year early, and applied to study either commerce or science at another university. I was offered the science degree, but was hoping to swap over to a business degree after the first or second semester.

“This first year of university was very challenging. I think the combination of being 17 years old, one year younger than all other freshers, and doing a degree that didn’t feel so natural to me was difficult. After one year, I transferred to AUT as my sister was there and doing pretty well with her grades in business. The topics of social media and marketing had always been a strong personal interest for me, so I soon decided to major in marketing. Once I moved to AUT and into a business degree, my grades were significantly better, I enjoyed the way of learning and I felt so much more comfortable.”

Finding her path
Georgia completed her Bachelor of Business at the end of 2019, but then found herself at a bit of a crossroads.

“As my degree was coming to an end, I was having a look at jobs on the university job page, and saw a graduate internship for a marketing student in Shanghai. I have a strong interest to live and work in a foreign country, and somehow managed to land this. I was over the moon. At the same time, I had also applied for a postgraduate Māori scholarship to do my honours degree. I happened to land this scholarship too.

“I decided to accept the Shanghai Internship scholarship and decline the postgrad scholarship as I figured living in China was more of a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. But two weeks out from moving to China, COVID-19 hit and my Shanghai internship was postponed as it wasn’t safe to be travelling there. At that time, semester had started and I very luckily had my postgrad scholarship re-granted. Then New Zealand went into lockdown and AUT completely paused all learning for a few weeks. This meant I had two weeks to catch up on all the coursework, and my lecturers were great in helping me get on track to complete my Bachelor of Business (Honours).”

Completing her honours dissertation with Associate Professor Crystal Yap was one of the most rewarding things she has ever done, Georgia says.

“I never saw myself as a researcher, however I got myself immersed in a topic I was extremely passionate about. The combination of this and the incredible guidance from my supervisor made completing my dissertation one of my biggest achievements to date. I always had a strong interest in social media and where the use of social media is heading. In one of my courses, I had learnt about consumer vulnerability and how this tied into social media consumption, as well as the ramifications it can have on individuals. This led me to my topic of consumer vulnerability in the digital era. I worked incredibly hard on my dissertation, which was graded at an A+.”

Advice for other students
Georgia – who was the top overall graduate and the top Māori graduate in the Bachelor of Business (Honours), and is proud of being invited to join the Beta Gamma Sigma Honours Society – has some great advice for other students.

“You don’t need to know exactly where you want to go or what you want to do. Work hard at what you’re doing, aim to get good grades in your current courses, and accept opportunities as they come. You don’t need to stress about your career path – whatever is meant for you will present itself in time.”

She says the ability to work in teams with different people has been one of the most useful skills she developed at AUT.

“Although group work at university was painful at times, it really has helped me learn that in life you’ll always face situations where you have to work with people who may not have the same opinions or the same work ethic as you. I think it’s incredibly valuable to know how to navigate situations like these.”

Image courtesy of Moët Hennessy New Zealand.

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