When I studied marketing, I had the misconception that I would need to move to Auckland to get a great role. I thought I could stay in Wellington in the short term but the exciting, innovative marketing wasn’t happening here at home.

Oh how wrong I was! 

Thankfully, I started my marketing career at a forward-thinking and supportive company. The senior leaders took a gamble on a new graduate and the rest is history. Since then I’ve found my way to tech and am continually delighted in the start-ups and larger businesses based in Wellington. From public sector to finance to tech – there’s some brilliant companies and marketers in Wellington.

But there’s also some gaps… 

There’s no shortage of SMEs and start-ups wanting marketers. But these fast paced companies want people that can hit the ground running. This can present an issue for graduates who often need experience to get their first role, but also need a role to gain that experience.

Through my role as a mentor with Cultivate and Victoria University, I met with many talented marketers about to start their careers. They each struggled with the same things, personal branding, job hunting skills, hands on marketing experience and getting their first industry role.

I’ve also hired many graduates, and understand the learning curve they face and the investment required from an employer perspective. Graduates come with a wealth of ideas, and enthusiasm, but very little practical experience. With the marketing technology landscape changing so quickly, it’s impractical for universities to adapt their courses every year to keep up, they’d be out of date before their ever reached a student. Universities are the perfect environment to learn core marketing principals and theory, this doesn’t change year to year. But it’s not the right environment to learn practical skills like social media metrics, or how to market yourself to employers.

Over a lunch with HR meetup organiser Richard Westney, I casually mentioned I’d like to help solve this problem, something he was already looking at for the HR industry. A few weeks later, Richard took me up on this offer and we started work on Summer of Biz, an extension of the successful Summer of Tech programme.

Summer of Biz is born

Summer of Biz is a not-for-profit that bridges the gap between committed HR & Marketing students and enlightened employers.

We offer industry-led bootcamps and internship opportunities to give current students and recent graduates the skills required to gain and excel in their first HR or Marketing role. Thus exposing employers to the fresh and eager talent emerging from our local tertiary institutions.

We are a bunch of passionate industry folk from across the HR & Marketing fields. Our common belief is that New Zealand students and the HR & Marketing professions can be even greater when brought together.

Highlights so far

We launch officially next week, and we’ve hit a few important milestones since December 2016, including:

In the coming week we will be exhibiting at the Victoria University career expo and holding our Student Launch event on the 21st March. With so much on, I’m incredibly lucky that this is no longer jus Richard and I. We have a fantastic team of HR and marketing professionals plus students and recent graduates.

“Grads come with incredible ideas, diversity of thought and it helps a business to grow, innovate and modernise”
Hannah Mundell, Summer of Biz volunteer and Senior Recruiter and Employer Branding specialist Cigna speaking to RadioLive

This blog has been a little neglected of late, but it’s been for a good cause. We’re targeting 30 summer internships and 10 industry-led bootcamps in our first year. If you’d like to help bring Summer of Biz to life, get in touch!

This is a programme that will live or die by its volunteers, sponsors and employers.  We need more so if you want to get involved – students, newly graduated people and experienced industry types – we would love to hear from you. To find out more about becoming a sponsor click here. To get involved as a volunteer, speaker or in any other way please fill out this form and we will be in touch.

Posted by Nicole Williams

I'm a marketing geek with a passion for tech. Previously, I was the marketing manager for SilverStripe (open source CMS and cloud PaaS) Currently, podcaster and blogger for TechMarketer.org and founder of Wellington Marketing meetup. Currently exploring Europe and living the dream! I'm always up for a chat about marketing and I love sharing my experiences so that others don't have to learn the hard way.

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