Anton Baker

Global Marketing Executive, Zespri - Tauranga, New Zealand

Key Info

  • Master of Business and Management

Waikato Master of Business and Management (MBM) graduate Anthony Baker beat off 140 other applicants to be selected for one of two sought-after graduate positions at Zespri, the global kiwifruit export giant based in Tauranga.

Zespri wanted to find some of the country's brightest university graduates and future leaders to help them triple the company's export earnings by 2025 - and Anthony had the business skills and positive attitude they were looking for.

With two years' training in New Zealand, Asia and Europe under his belt, he is now working as an executive for their global marketing team.

Besides Anthony's obvious drive to succeed, the former customer service rep from Taumaranui believes his MBM degree from Waikato is what made him stand out as a candidate.

After completing a bachelor's in sport and leisure studies, he decided to do further study and gain a broad, in-depth understanding of business management.

He has particularly enjoyed applying theories to real-life case studies, meeting classmates from different countries and learning from lecturers whose skills are in demand as industry consultants.

Through group work, Anthony says he developed his skills in leadership, management, delegation and professional ethics, "as well as my ability to break down tasks and approach challenges from a strategic perspective."

Anthony began his graduate role at Zespri with an 18-month rotational training programme, with a senior executive acting as his mentor – an excellent opportunity to get advice from someone who knows the business inside-out.

This started with kiwifruit picking and packaging in orchards and post-harvest facilities, followed by six months working in Zespri’s head office in Mount Maunganui.

Next Anthony travelled to Asia and Europe for six months to broaden his understanding of the company’s international operations, and then returned home to be assigned an area of the company to work in.

He reminds other students that with any job, it's often more important how well your personality matches the organisation's culture, "so seek out the job that fits with who you are as a person," he says.

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