Area Manager, Enviropod, Toronto, Canada
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Radio
His future career path wasn’t always entirely clear, says communication studies alumnus Joe Burn.
“As I came to the end of my time at school I was struggling for motivation. I was taking classes like history and classical studies without any clue how they were going to help me post-school and although my grades held up, I was by no means an honours roll student. My old lady recognised this and did a bit of research on my behalf.
“When I saw the AUT communications degree and all the interactive components, engaging content and life skills it would give me, I gained a new motivation. I initially chose to major in radio because I thought my biggest life-skill was always just to throw a bit of good chat around and get a few giggles. I think it is a testament to AUT that I grew to want more from myself and ended up thriving.”
Making the most of university life
Don’t look at your time at AUT as a platform to the next step or something you have to do to get a job, Joe says.
“My time at AUT will always be some of the best years of my life because of the friends I made, the lessons I learned and the places it enabled me to go. It’s one of those places where you get out of it what you put into it, so make sure to do the mahi and you will no doubt get the treats.”
Joe has had a number of highlights throughout his studies.
“In my first year they offered me a chance to play basketball for AUT, which was a good opportunity to push myself in a new sporting environment. Having played club and school sports with the same faces for years, it was a good challenge and got me outside my comfort zone.
“Another highlight for me was going on a student exchange to Ryerson University in Toronto in my second year. My student exchange was probably the most life-changing experience I’ve ever had. Learning about different cultures and living with people from across the globe changed my entire perspective on life and what is important to me.”
A new life in Canada
His student exchange also encouraged him to apply for the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme, Joe says.
“After coming back from my student exchange, I no longer felt satisfied in my day-to-day routine and I was over the moon when I heard about the Internz programme. I applied specifically for a content and marketing intern role at Enviropod. I always loved being the joker in the room, but upon taking environmental studies in my final year at AUT, I discovered a passion for all things green, and when an opportunity came up to help create a better tomorrow through Enviropod, it was way too good an opportunity to pass up.”
Two years on, Joe continues to work for Enviropod and has since moved up to the role of area manager for the North America region, helping the company expand across North America. He still fondly remembers his time at AUT and is appreciate of how his time at university opened the door to his new life in Canada.
“I’m very grateful to AUT for installing me with the skills to do what I’m now doing, and I know it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone I’ve met along the way. AUT is determined to give its students an international platform through the student exchange programme and the AUT Internz programme. I have no doubt AUT will continue to put New Zealand and its students on the map.”