Client Success Manager, ReachLocal Australia & New Zealand
Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing
He has long been fascinated by marketing, says Umesh Raaj Muthukrishnan who came to AUT as an international student from India to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.
“A spark was ignited within me during my teenage years. I would often be glued to advertisements; be it on television, images on billboards and the quick and catchy ads at the cinemas a few minutes before the movies were played. Marketing has always been felt at every corner and I was blown away by its power.”
Now working as a client success manager for ReachLocal Australia & New Zealand, he now uses the power of digital marketing to help his clients achieve their business objectives.
“In this role, I’m responsible for onboarding, creating and retaining customers to ensure we deliver value with our digital marketing campaigns. We predominantly work with small and mid-sized businesses in Australia and New Zealand. I build campaigns as per the client’s requirement and constantly monitor their performance to deliver results that matter to the client.”
He decided to study at AUT because of its reputation as a world-class modern and diverse university, Umesh says.
“As one of the world’s top young universities, AUT has been very effective in communicating its vision to be constantly growing and to be the best in the country. This vision aligned perfectly with my ethos.
“I especially appreciated the guidance from Dr Marian Makkar who was my lecturer in the Marketing Management paper. She was an inspiration who ignited a love of learning and an understanding of the importance of imagination within me.”
In addition to his studies, Umesh also found time to make the most of university life.
“As a sportsman, I enjoyed competing at the University Tertiary National Sports 2019 where I was part of AUT men’s table tennis team, which won a silver medal. I also completed the AUT Edge Award, and am proud of receiving the AUTSA Leadership award for my involvement in leading a team of volunteers during Orientation.”
A helping hand for international students
As an international student he faced some challenges when he first arrived in New Zealand, Umesh admits. He has now come up with a solution to make it easier for other international students to adjust to life and study in New Zealand – the BuddyMentor programme.
“I consider the BuddyMentor programme to be a solution to all the pain points and problems I faced in the initial couple of months as an international student in New Zealand. The two days of Orientation weren’t enough. I wanted to offer my support to ensure the wellbeing of other international students.
“To address this, I developed BuddyMentor, a buddy system that will act as a platform to match new international students with senior students and alumni to help them navigate arriving in New Zealand.”
Developing BuddyMentor was a clear highlight of his time at AUT, Umesh says.
“Besides rolling out the pilot project of this peer mentorship programme, I was offered casual employment right after I completed my programme to officially launch the project. It’s now being piloted by AUT’s student services team. My heartiest gratitude goes to Joanna Scarbrough for her faith and trust in my vision and work ethic.”
Advice for other students
Having graduated at the end of 2019, Umesh has some great advice for other students.
“My advice is to love your programme, stay curious and enjoy every lesson. Widen your intellect and thoughts to consume nuggets of wisdom that could come from your lecturer, academic staff within your faculty, a classmate, a peer from a different faculty, the dairy manager right across the street, every single person you meet.
“Be willing to learn, unlearn and relearn – it will bring forth excellent opportunities and endless possibilities to place yourself at the centre and enjoy the two-way path of giving and receiving.”
Umesh says he appreciates the support he received from AUT staff throughout his studies.
“I’m grateful to AUT for graciously supporting and accepting my vision and ideas with open arms, and for helping me become well-equipped to be successful in the corporate world.”