Celine Kao

Celine Kao

Celine is employed as a Communications Officer at the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

Communications Officer at the Mental Health Foundation,
PR internship at Porter Novelli, Auckland - Nov-Dec 2019,
Engagement consultant at HSB Government Relations - 2019,
Political communications manager at Seed Waikato

Celine Kao

I think the Bachelor of Communication degree is suitable for anyone who has a creative mind, wants to develop good writing and interpersonal skills, and is looking for a people-focused career where they can do good in the world.

Originally I wanted to be a journalist, but now I just feel so at home in public relations, I feel like I’ve definitely picked the right industry because everyone is so nice!

My lecturers were the most amazing people; they really care so much about their students. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them; they have opened so many doors for me.

In 2016, I did an overseas exchange at the University of California San Diego. While I was there, one of my lecturers asked me to attend the PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis and collect an award on behalf of Waikato Management School. The conference was amazing; it showed me what was possible in the PR industry and made me set my sights higher.

After that I became actively involved with the Management Communication Students Association (MCSA), which organises field trips and networking events for students at Waikato to meet PR professionals. As president of MCSA, I learned an incredible amount about leadership, teamwork, and how to bring out the best in other people.

A highlight of my BCS degree was a paper where we got to design, research and execute a real-life communication campaign for the Friends of Hamilton Gardens, with the goal of trying to increase and diversify their membership base. The paper was very practical and hands-on, pulling together everything we had learnt over the past three years.

After graduating, I worked for Seed Waikato on a communications campaign to increase youth voter turnout in the 2019 local body elections. This contributed to a 5% voter increase in Hamilton; the highest in the city since 2004.

I also worked as a consultant for HSB Government Relations, a local firm that facilitates relationships between businesses and politicians. This gave me a broad knowledge of the New Zealand political ecosystem.

Then I undertook a paid internship at Porter Novelli, an internationally networked PR agency in Auckland, after being awarded the Joseph Peart Scholarship.

Now I'm employed as a Communications Officer at the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. I’m enjoying dipping my toes into lots of different projects, and learning new skills from some of the best people in the PR industry!

Celine Kao

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