Shae Parsons-Wanoa

Shae Parsons-Wanoa

Product Content Specialist, Tradify
Bachelor of Business in International Business and Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations

Ngāti Porou, Samoan

For Shae Parsons-Wanoa studying communications at AUT is a bit of a family tradition.

“AUT is somewhat of a family choice, and I’m the fourth AUT communication studies graduate out of my siblings. I was raised to always think outside the box, or even better, to think of a new box altogether. AUT embodies this, not only by teaching applicable subjects and courses but by taking bold moves and forging a new path that older universities end up following.

“AUT was a sure-fire choice for me – I needed a university that would enable me to flourish in an innovative and creative manner, and AUT gives you the opportunity to do what no other person your age is doing; to really navigate that uncharted territory.

“AUT is doing things many other educational providers just wouldn’t consider – think CV help and demonstrations on how to do job interviews, especially remote-based ones. It’s the little things that really distinguish this university from the rest.”

Her biggest highlights at AUT came from outside of the classroom, Shae says.

“The high points for me included: working as a media intern for New Zealand Fashion Week, volunteering as a communications manager for BizTech Labs 2018 and 2019, and being an event co-ordinator for the AUT Scholars Society. For the Scholars Society, I organised a charity gala that raised over $5,000 for GEE Nepal and Duffy Books in Homes, and won the AUTSA Community Engagement Award in 2018.

“I enjoyed learning a lot, but to put the theoretical components into practice really helped me realise where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.”

Promoting Kiwi businesses
After graduating from her Bachelor of Communication Studies AUT in 2018, Shae got to use her skills on an international stage – she interned for international communications and PR agency Baldwin Boyle Shand in Singapore through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme.

“I helped monitor media across multiple countries, and analysed the conversations the press and general public were having about our clients and activities they may be involved in. Working for iconic New Zealand organisations like Fonterra, Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand allowed me to create ideas that connect to New Zealand Inc’s strengths in an international context.

“Other clients like Royal Caribbean and Johnson & Johnson also exposed me to international business practices.”

After returning to Auckland in mid-2019, Shae continued to promote New Zealand to the world through her role as a copywriter for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

“As a copywriter for NZTE, I helped create 42 Market Guides to support New Zealand businesses in over 100 countries around the world. I also had the opportunity to liaise with business experts and leaders in both the private and public sector.”

Since June 2021, she’s now taking on the world of tech. She’s using her business knowledge and communication skills as a product content specialist at Tradify, a New Zealand founded, global SaaS company providing job management app to help tradies make a life, not just a living.

“Tradify is such a great fit for my current skills and future goals. Working at a tech business growing at a pace like Tradify’s is extremely challenging but at the same time, hugely rewarding.”

Advice for other students
There are too many graduates pushing an image to employers that’s generic and inauthentic, Shae says.

“My biggest piece of advice would be: figure out your strengths and weaknesses. This takes some serious reflection, which isn’t always fun. Build a personal brand off what you can offer.

“Employers and potential business partners don’t want a bland, run-of-the-mill graduate with all the right grades and no distinctive traits or features. They want someone that will fill the void they’re looking for. This means making yourself indispensable to people you work with, so go the extra mile and don’t be afraid to do what others aren’t doing.”

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