Marketing Associate, Waddell+Associates
Player, Taranaki Steelformers Mountainairs
Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations
For Scott Telfer, life has been rather busy – not only does he have a promising basketball career, but he also gets to use his marketing skills to help secure sport funding and support communities.
“Being paid to play basketball was always a goal of mine from when I was a kid, and to achieve this has definitely meant a lot. I play for the Taranaki Steelformers Mountainairs, and this past season for the Mountainairs was probably the highlight of my career so far. Moving and living in Taranaki was a great experience – the whole region is super supportive. Having people coming up and wanting to talk to me after games, or kids wanting to get my signature and get a photo was so surreal to me.”
Since 2020, Scott has also been working for sport funding strategists Waddell+Associates, an organisation that aims to grow the reach and engagement of sport in New Zealand. He initially started this role for his workplace experience in the last year of his business degree and has since been offered a job as a marketing associate there.
“Waddell+Associates created and brought together the New Zealand Sports Collective. This is a collaboration between more than 50 national sports organisations. What I enjoy most about this job is that we are making a difference and helping secure funding so that it can be put back into communities. That means a lot.
“I also love that Rob Waddell is my boss. He’s a New Zealand sporting legend and still continues to positively impact New Zealand sport through his work. He has given me a lot of advice about managing my sporting career and my goals, and it’s just amazing to have that opportunity.”
The right university environment
Scott says he knew pretty quickly that AUT was the right university for him.
“When I was visiting different universities to decide where I would study, what initially drew me to AUT was its atmosphere. I just felt like this would be the best environment for me to spend my next four years. University can be a daunting thing and stressful at times but at AUT its more of a community. You can receive support; you don’t need to have this ‘me against the world’ mindset.”
One thing he particularly loved about AUT was that they never saw him as just a student, Scott says.
“I feel that the staff at AUT get to know you personally, which I’ve found is somewhat rare after talking to friends who attended other universities. They always helped me to continue my basketball goals and helped me through personally hard times, all to continue my study and attain my degrees.”
Supported to thrive
The friends he made were a highlight of his time at university, Scott says.
“There was a group of five of us who met in the first year and we were all doing the same degree. We ended up all doing the same majors and I did my classes with all of them. Four years of studying and navigating university with them. I think it’s pretty amazing to find a great group of people and go through an experience like university all together.”
He says he will never forget how people at AUT were always willing to help.
“The AUT Sport team in particular helped me out hugely. They helped me carry on my sporting dreams while completing my study. I definitely would have failed some assignments and courses if it wasn’t for their support. I even received two AUT Blue Awards for my sporting achievements as I was competing in the New Zealand National Basketball League in addition to my studies.”