Ruby Straugheir

Ruby Straugheir

Event Operations Coordinator, The IRONMAN Group New Zealand
Bachelor of Arts in Event Management

She enjoys everything about her work, says event management alumna Ruby Straugheir who is now the event operations coordinator for The IRONMAN Group New Zealand.

“My job involves taking the lead on everything operational for three of the six New Zealand events that IRONMAN does. My events include the Queenstown Marathon, IRONMAN Taupo and IRONMAN 70.3. Working as an operations coordinator means that I deal with all the suppliers for the event; create site maps, event manuals and run sheets; order all the equipment and so on.

“I enjoy the opportunity to learn and grow in this role as IRONMAN provides plenty of training and opportunities to work on other events in New Zealand and Australia. My favourite part is event week and being on site – it’s a very fast-paced environment and this is when we get to see all our work over a year come together.”

For Ruby, the journey towards managing some of the country’s longest running racing events started when she was still a student at AUT.

“In my second to last year at university I was offered an internship at IRONMAN by one of my lecturers, which was a personal achievement for me and has since led to the role I have now.”

Finding her path
Ruby admits that it took her a little while before she realised that event management was the right degree for her.

“I began doing a double degree in sport and recreation, and business. After a semester, I decided that wasn’t for me, and then moved to a Bachelor of Business in Finance, minoring in Event Management. And then I changed again, this time to a Bachelor of Arts in Event Management with a minor in Finance. It’s important not to be afraid to change your degree around, but do it as early as you can. It’s key that you find what you’re interested in.”

She had plenty of highlights throughout her time at AUT.

“I chose AUT as I liked the smaller class sizes and the new campuses. Coming from a small private school, I was used to one on one learning, which I knew I would get more of at AUT. I loved being able to connect and network with the lecturers and other students at AUT.

“In my first year I stayed in the Akoranga Student Village, which was probably a big highlight for me. I didn’t know anyone in Auckland, so this was a great way to meet new people and I made some good friends.”

Advice for other students
Ruby, who completed her studies in 2021, has some great advice for other students.

“Find what you enjoy and what your passion is – don’t just do something because you think you should. Try not to worry too much about what grades you get. As long as what you’re doing is helping you get where you want to go then the grades come second. And the most important advice I would give is to ask questions.”

Never underestimate the importance of networking, she adds.

“When you’re at uni, view it as a job, and look to make connections and network with people. I found this was the most important thing I got out of uni and it has led me to my job today.”