Lani Wreaks

Lani Wreaks

Lani says her favourite part of communications is “working with so many different stakeholders and how diverse the workload is."

Lani Wreaks

Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science

Completing her Bachelor of Communication Studies degree at the University of Waikato caps off a busy few years for new graduate Lani Wreaks.

As a high school student at Otūmoetai College in Tauranga, Lani, now 21, always thought she’d end up teaching.

But after she left school at the beginning of Year 13, a fixed-term contract in event management ignited an interest in a career in communications.

Waikato’s communications degree with a Public Relations major was the best option because of its mix of practical and theoretical learning.

“I had the opportunity to work alongside real businesses while still receiving that same level of support and resources you would expect from teaching staff,” says Lani.

Lani describes herself as a kinaesthetic learner who benefits from attending classes and solving problems in person.

Covid 19 put paid to some of that, but Lani was able to adapt and before she knew it, distance-learning felt like less of a challenge.

Her work-integrated learning placement was with the Waikato District Council’s communication and engagement team where she worked mostly in the digital space on their website.

Lani completed other internships across the public, private and non-profit sectors during the three-year course. These experiences drew out her natural leadership skills, and proved invaluable in developing her skills.

One of the internships was with The Shine Collective, a Bay of Plenty communications agency, where she worked alongside senior consultants on campaigns, further developing her passion for public relations.

She describes the Waikato University experience as “epic” – where she gained new friendships and learned practical skills that prepared her for the workforce.

In her second year Lani facilitated a pilot programme to enable students and their families to discover Waikato during pandemic times.

Towards the end of her degree, Lani worked part-time as member liaison with the Tauranga Business Chamber, spending time with the local business community whilst developing her engagement and relational skills.

“Communication is such an essential part of most businesses. You can make such an impact.”

Waikato is the only university in New Zealand - and one of only four outside the United States - whose Public Relations programme is certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This is students’ guarantee of a world-class learning experience, as the PRSA sets the gold standard for PR education.

Public Relations is taught by Waikato Management School, which is ranked in the top 1% of all business schools globally with the prestigious Triple Crown Accreditation from EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB.

Lani Wreaks

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