Head of Marketplace, Trade Me
Certificate in Sales Management
As a university of technology, it's no surprise that there are AUT alumni working in some of world's biggest tech companies. Ivan Fuyala is a prime example, having worked his way up to be Head of Marketplace for Trade Me, New Zealand's largest online auction and classifieds website.
After obtaining a degree in horticulture, Ivan began his career as an entrepreneur when he started his own landscaping business. But it didn't feel right, and he began to question what he really wanted to do.
When Ivan studied a Certificate in Sales Management at AUT, the university became a launching pad for his career in sales.
"I wouldn't have had the career I have now without doing this," says Ivan. "It showed I had an interest and I took it seriously. It showed that I was committed to being a salesman."
A digital future
After working in sales for different magazine companies in New Zealand and Australia, Ivan decided that the future was digital. He moved to a sales role at website auditing firm Nielson Net Ratings, and worked in their New Zealand branch before being offered the chance to run the company's online division in New York. He leapt at the opportunity, and his career took off.
One of his career milestones was working as the senior vice president of commercial partnerships at video company Vevo in New York City, with 12 direct reports, and over 100 sales staff through Vevo's industry partners.
As a part of the thriving tech sector, Vevo helped to 'clean up' the mess created by a lack of control regarding music videos and YouTube. Vevo also helped to increase the value of music videos in the eyes of advertisers, driving up the monetary value of the videos and creating income for artists.
After almost a decade living and working in New York, Ivan moved back to New Zealand at the end of 2018. Now working at Trade Me, he leads a talented team of 200 people to make it safe and easy to buy and sell goods on Trade Me Marketplace.
The bigger picture
As he reflects on his career path thus far, Ivan urges recent and future graduates to consider the bigger picture.
"You need to think about where you want to go, and go there," he says, "It's easy not to have enough confidence in yourself, but you need to come up with a strategy for life and do it! It doesn't matter where you come from; if you want something and work at it, you can do it."
And the key to putting your life strategy into action?
"Think about your dream job – then think about what you need to do to get there: if you want to work at Facebook, figure out what you need to have on that CV. If you are structured and smart about your career, you can take steps towards achieving your dream job."