James Tapp

James Tapp

Account Executive, One Plus One Communications
Bachelor of Business in International Business and Strategy & Bachelor of Communication Studies in Advertising Creativity conjoint programmes

He loves his career as an account executive for corporate communications agency One Plus One Communications, says James Tapp who completed degrees in business and communication studies.

“I essentially spend my time using my knowledge to tell stories professionally on behalf of my clients. What I love the most about my work is the breadth of knowledge needed for the job. Every day I'm learning something new and on most days I'm incorporating knowledge I never thought I’d need for my professional life.”

He first discovered his passion for communications when he was still in high school.

“During high school I did a work placement at 95bFM, which is where I fell in love with comms. From there I decided to challenge myself and grow my knowledge, so I chose to also pick up business at uni despite having never studied it. I came to AUT because it was better for hands-on learning with lots of real-life context. I had also heard a lot of good things about both of my degrees from people I had met.”

Fond memories
For James, there were plenty of highlights throughout his time at AUT.

“I think what I enjoyed most was the freedom to take what we learned and apply it to both new and familiar contexts. I found that the regular application of real-life contexts made studying really engaging, and has meant that my knowledge has felt more valuable after finishing university.

“I also wouldn’t be where I am today without those I’ve met along the way. I met both amazing lecturers and students during my time studying; a lot of the time through opportunities that came through uni events and club activities. While my degree was always the priority, it was these factors that made uni memorable.”

He has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“Spend time figuring out who you are and where your boundaries lie. Everyone is different and university gives freedom which lets you explore who you are, both inwards and outwards. This could be as simple as changing your hair or going a student exchange – the world is your oyster.”

Making important connections
Participating in the Shadow a Leader programme and spending a day with Sanchia Yonge at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) was another highpoint for James.

“By going to NZTE, I got a better understanding of how government agencies work and how much effort goes into helping New Zealand businesses succeed; something I feel is undervalued immensely. It was also a good first exposure to what a day of full-time work looks like, and confirmed for me that my passion for international business will have value as my career progresses, regardless of what field I’m in.”

He says he would highly recommend Shadow a Leader to other students.

“There's something quite unique about seeing a live workplace in action – all the everyday actions that don't make the cut in job descriptions. It also provides a better taster as to whether a company or industry is the right fit for your skills and passions. Additionally, it’s also a great opportunity to make important connections and ask questions no one else would be able to answer.”