Louis Wilks

Marketing manager, Manta5

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Management Studies
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Management

Louis Wilks is the marketing manager for Manta5, the start-up company behind the world’s first hydrofoil waterbike.

Louis has always been passionate about entrepreneurship. “I like working at a start-up because of the freedom I have to plan out my ideas and actually execute them. It’s a very hands-on approach and so we develop a wide range of skills along the way,” says Louis.

This passion for innovation is what led Louis to study for a Bachelor of Management Studies degree at Waikato University, majoring in Strategic Management and Marketing. Louis says his degree gave him a solid foundation of business theory and applied learning to pursue his career interests.

Always a high achiever, he helped to create and develop an Innovation Station on campus, with the goal of connecting entrepreneurially-minded students who wanted to start their own business with specialist mentors, creative workspaces and resources.

That’s also how Louis met CEO of Manta5 Greg Johnston, who would end up helping him score a job after graduation.

“Greg came in as a mentor for the Innovation Station and that’s how I got to know him. He knew I was looking for a job, so I just started off by helping him out for a day, which turned into two days, then three, and now here I am.”

Louis was also elected President of the Waikato Management School Students’ Association (WMSSA), which gave him responsibility for leading an executive board and engaging with a community of around 1500 management students.

His biggest piece of advice to students is to just give things a go. “I’ve always been a bit of a tumbleweed in the wind. You have to be open to new learning opportunities, especially in marketing where the way things are done is changing all the time, so flexibility is important.”

“The really great thing about Waikato University is the people, the lecturers and all the friends you make. I still keep in touch with mates from my cohort and have been fortunate to work with other alumni.”

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