Hunter Witters

Hunter Witters

Cellar Door, Accommodation and Event Manager, Matawhero Winery, Gisborne
Bachelor of Arts in Event Management

He has known that he wanted to work in event management since he was 14 years old, says Hunter Witters who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Event Management.

“I was fortunate enough to get my first job working for an event at MoMA PS1 when I was 14 years old, and from then on I was hooked. I love the fast-paced environment of working in events and enjoy seeing that my contribution has a direct impact. As I came closer to applying for university, I found only one university that could help me pursue my passion for events; AUT.”

What he liked most about his studies at AUT was the combination of an outstanding degree structure, incredible professors and students being able to gain real-life experience as part of their degree.

“I found the industry experience my lecturers had very inspiring, and it showed me the diversity of events. One of the highlights for me was a group project where we had to make an event from scratch, and our group put our love for vintage clothing and music together and called it Tunes ‘N Threads. It was such a success that AUT hosted it again the following year. I was also very proud when I received a letter from the head of the hospitality and tourism school for having an A point average in my final year.

“My final-year workplace experience was another standout for me. My placement was with a fantastic social enterprise called Youth Art New Zealand, which specialises in connecting, showcasing and developing young creative talent across Aotearoa. I was involved in logistics management and marketing; a side of events I wasn’t familiar with but I had great mentors teaching me the ropes. The experience gave me confidence and enabled me to build relationships with some incredible people in the industry.”

A rewarding career
Since graduating from AUT in mid-2021, Hunter now enjoys applying his skills as the cellar door, accommodation and event manager for Matawhero Winery, the oldest boutique winery in the Gisborne region.

“I grew up in Gisborne and have always had a passion for the wine industry from previous work experience. I had always dreamt of combining the two, and at Matawhero I’m able to do just that.”

He loves the variety his role offers.

“My role at Matawhero revolves around delivering the highest service for our customers whether that be to help organise various events centred around wine as well as weddings, conducting wine tastings and ensuring our accommodation is the best it can be.”

Advice for other students
Hunter has some great advice for other students interested in a career in event management.

“There are many event opportunities in Auckland where you can volunteer, and I found that they’re always eager to take on students wanting to learn in the industry. There are very few industries with such a diverse range – from fashion to wine and sport, there’s an event for everyone to participate in.”

His other piece of advice is to make the most of university life.

“Take advantage of all that AUT has to offer, whether that be using its incredible facilities, going to university-run events, or learning from the incredible lecturers and all the experiences they have to offer.”

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