Lauren Bartlett

Lauren Bartlett

Head of Marketing & Communications – UK/Europe, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, London
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Journalism

She loves the difference she can make to New Zealand businesses on the world stage, says communication studies alumna Lauren Bartlett who is now based in London and works for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the New Zealand government’s export growth division.

“Our organisation helps New Zealand companies internationalise around the world. My job is heading our marketing and communications team for UK and Europe, based out of our High Commission in London. I help to make buyers and investors in Europe aware of the products and services New Zealand provides and help New Zealand businesses understand what opportunities are available to them in market.

“Within my team, I lead staff who are responsible for consumer marketing and e-commerce, events and PR, digital marketing and content production. A typical day can be anything from overseeing a large trade show or event, to media briefings, to working with ad agencies on digital campaigns. Leading a team is my favourite part of the role – I love helping others grow.”

She says she has had a number of ‘pinch me’ moments in her role, from briefing prime ministers to attending incredible events around the world.

“For one campaign, I was able to visit India to launch New Zealand apples with the Black Caps cricket team, and another involved creating a large scale 4D tech build-up of a New Zealand dairy farm at Ireland’s largest farming tradeshow. It’s not always easy though – managing a communications team through the pandemic was challenging but rewarding.”

A solid foundation
When Lauren first started university, she wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to pursue a career in advertising, journalism or public relations. Enrolling in AUT’s Bachelor of Communication Studies enabled her to get a taste of all three.

“I chose the Bachelor of Communication Studies because of the flexibility it offered, and it gave me a chance to learn about all three industries and build connections in each.

“My lecturers Allison Oosterman and Greg Treadwell were influential my decision to go into journalism. They believed so strongly in students and were willing to go the extra mile to ensure that every opportunity was available to us, from getting into newsrooms to being prepared for what the role would really be like. I stepped into a job as a reporter at the New Zealand Herald the day after graduation with a full contact book, knowing the team and the technology systems they used.”

She says the highlight of her time at AUT was meeting lifelong friends.

“I really found ‘my tribe’ at AUT. It’s been amazing to see where my friends have ended up in their careers – everywhere from TV reporters to Netflix executives.”

Advice for other students
Lauren, who graduated from AUT in 2007, has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“My advice is to stay openminded at the beginning of the course – you might think that one career is a great fit, but the reality isn’t always how you imagine.

“Take every opportunity to get out and put the lessons into action with the contacts and internships that are available to you to try a variety of options before you narrow it down to one major.”