Penny Bell

Penny Bell

Sales Intern, Icebreaker, Vancouver, Canada
Bachelor of Arts in Event Management

She has always had an interest in organising and working behind the scenes, says event management alumna Penny Bell.

“I started volunteering for various events at the age of 13. When my parents converted our woolshed into an events location, known as Criffel Station Woolshed, that inspired me to look for a course in event management and pursue a career in this field.

“While I was studying at AUT, I loved being able to choose from a variety of electives that sparked my interest in tourism and the many opportunities in event management and marketing. The obvious main highlight for me was graduation – it was a huge accomplishment, especially being dyslexic, and it was something that I had been very determined to get to.”

Advice for other students
Make the most of the opportunities available, Penny says.

“Apply for everything and anything! Don’t second guess yourself. Seek discomfort, push out of your comfort zone and by doing this you’ll be exposed to amazing adventures and opportunities.”

One such opportunity for her was applying for the AUT Internz International Scholarships Programme in her final year.

“I wanted an opportunity that bridged the gap between graduating and heading into the workforce. I felt that an internship was the perfect solution, and after learning more about the AUT Internz programme and the internships they offered, I decided to apply.

“I was particularly interested in the Icebreaker internship as it’s a company with high ethics and sustainability principles that I fully support, and it’s a creative New Zealand brand that I grew up with and wanted to learn more about.”

A Canadian adventure
Penny says she loves the variety of tasks she is involved in through her role at Icebreaker.

“Over the past few months at Icebreaker, I’ve been involved in numerous tasks and projects that have helped me gain wonderful insights into this business. What I’ve enjoyed the most about working at Icebreaker is learning about the North American market and the differences from the Australasian market. This knowledge will stand me in good stead for future roles.”

Her internship is also a good chance to explore her new surroundings, Penny says.

“Living in Vancouver has been amazing. I’ve travelled immensely during my weekends and the city itself is very outdoorsy, making for an exciting and adventure-filled time.”