Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (Public Relations, Strategic Management)
Waikato Management School
Rebecca Foote loves her job as a communications advisor for SKYCITY Entertainment Group in Auckland.
“It’s a really varied, cool role. My role is on the promotion and internal communication side of things; to protect and promote SkyCity’s brand to media, council, government and other key stakeholders," says Rebecca.
Originally from Te Puke, near Tauranga, she gained the skills required for a successful career in communications through Waikato’s Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Management.
“SkyCity is such an exciting business that every day is different; there’s always a new challenge to take on. We’ve got fantastic restaurants, a theatre, a convention centre, the Sky Tower, two luxury hotels, a casino and more!”
“I work closely with celebrity chefs, hotel managers, marketing managers and other staff across the business on everything from restaurant openings, filming and photography, to leveraging major events such as Chinese New Year, and milestone announcements around the New Zealand International Convention Centre," says Rebecca.
“We’re a nation of small businesses, so understanding the business and management side of things is a big advantage in any career. I was able to tailor my degree to focus on Public Relations, backed by a solid foundation of business knowledge – there are few other degrees that offer that kind of flexibility.”
Globally recognised business degree
Rebecca liked the fact that Waikato Management School has Triple Crown Accreditation - placing it in the top 1% of business schools worldwide. "I knew I was going to get a degree that would be respected by employers if I wanted to work internationally. Hamilton is close to my home town of Tauranga, and it has affordable living costs as well.”
In her third year at uni, Rebecca was part of a student team that won the Chesterman Group Public Relations Campaigns competition with their communication plan for Opportunity Hamilton, a non-profit organisation that seeks to attract new business and investment into the city.
Another major highlight for Rebecca was her six-month management internship at Mainfreight, where she helped develop a new careers website aimed at recruiting graduates.
“It was the most incredible experience of my degree. I worked in the HR/Talent Development team and we carried out research into Mainfreight’s brand and reputation as a graduate employer. We then advised the company on developing a new graduate recruitment website and pitched the idea to general management for funding approval."
"The project ended up as a finalist in the New Zealand Association of Graduate Employers (NZAGE) Awards, so that was really amazing. The work reference that I received from Mainfreight has helped me gain roles since then, so it’s been really important to my career.”
Shape your own story
While studying, Rebecca was heavily involved with the Management Communication Students’ Association (MCSA). She started off as the club’s events coordinator and eventually became president.
“Being part of that group was awesome. The events we organised for students enabled me to meet fantastic people in the PR industry who were only too happy to help out as contacts, and those practical experiences helped me to get my first few jobs after university.”
Rebecca’s advice for future students is to consider what stories you’re going to leave university with.
“Stories are what you rely on in your interviews and throughout your early career. Get involved with student groups like MCSA and make the most of any practical experiences. These stories, alongside great grades, give potential employers a much better understanding of what you’ve done and how you work.”