Bachelor of Communication Studies (Marketing, Public Relations)
Waikato Management School
Working for the Chiefs Rugby franchise has been the perfect career start for James Forster, a social media marketing specialist who did his Bachelor of Communication Studies degree at Waikato University.
“There’s huge public interest in the Chiefs brand, both in New Zealand and overseas, so it’s really exciting for me to help manage all of their digital, social and marketing channels,” says James, who began working for them in March 2016.
“After uni I received several job offers, but this one really aligned with my passion for sport. On game day I get to go behind-the-scenes and meet all these high-profile rugby stars, which is pretty cool.”
Originally from Christchurch, James says the three-year BCS degree set him up with industry-relevant skills that employers are looking for, which gave him the confidence that he could “do it in the real world”.
During his degree, he completed a one-month work internship at Socialites, an award-winning social media agency in Auckland, followed by a two-month public relations internship at Shine PR in Rotorua.
Another highlight for James was being part of the talented team of students who delivered a winning public relations campaign for Sport Waikato as part of the highly practical paper MCOM333, taking home the Chesterman Group Public Relations Campaigns Award 2015.
“Before you graduate, it’s really essential to gain that experience of applying your PR knowledge by putting a campaign together for a real client; strategising and implementing tactics to achieve your communications objectives," says James.
He would happily recommend Waikato’s BCS degree to anyone who’s keen to pursue a successful career in communications.
“The lecturers at Waikato have such valuable insights to offer, and the more effort you put into the course, the more you’ll get out of it.”