Product Content Lead, FORM Swim, Vancouver, Canada
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Exercise Science and Management
AUT enables students to set themselves up for a bright future in the industry, says sport and recreation alumna Katrina Sharlott.
“Industry practice is so valuable once you graduate. You don’t realise until after you’ve graduated how important this part of your study is in giving you a head start once you graduate. This was one of the reasons I chose AUT – it bridges the gap between academic studies and industry practice.
“My third-year workplace experience was the highlight for me. This was largely self-directed and gave me the opportunity to apply to any workplace I wanted to see myself in the future, and seek out placement opportunities in my field. I took full advantage of this opportunity and really made the most of making connections within the sport and recreation industry.”
She also appreciated the international opportunities open to AUT students.
“The AUT Internz programme has been life-changing for students. AUT is one of the only universities that offers these kinds of international connections to recent graduates, and this opportunity might shape the rest of your career.”
An unmissable opportunity
After graduating at the end of 2018, Katrina started working for Lululemon in Vancouver; an opportunity she got through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme. After starting at Lululemon as an intern, she later joined the company’s product management team.
“The Go-to-Market Management team at lululemon manages and governs the end-to-end process that is creating products, from the concept to when products are sent off to the mill for manufacturing before they hit stores. I took on this role to get a better understanding of the end-to-end product creation process, make connections across lululemon, and to lean into more leadership, public speaking and project management soft skills. This was something I was interested in and it helped me have the best understanding of products through the lens of lululemon.”
Her role also opened new doors for her career, and she recently joined smart swimming platform called FORM Swim as a product content lead.
“I work as part of our coaching and content team to create workouts and plans, and help educate on all things swimming. Wearable technology is creating such an interesting future for sport and it's so amazing to be a part of it.”
Advice for other students
Use your years at university wisely, Katrina advises other students.
“Don’t waste the time you have out of class! Work hard and smart. Take internships on top of your study, or pursue a hobby or entrepreneurial idea you’ve been sitting on. Industry experience and entrepreneurship will pay off in the real world and can lead you to those dream jobs.
“It’s okay not to know what you want to do for the rest of your life but getting experience through internships and volunteering will help you get a better understanding of yourself and where you fit in the industry.”
Networking is key, she adds.
“Put yourself out there and work with everyone you can. Don’t forget to connect with your classmates, after all they’re going to be the ones in this industry with you when you graduate. You never know who you might work with in the future.”