Bachelor of Commerce (double major in Marketing and Management)
While studying business at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), Lucy Ryan and a fellow student set up their own marketing company – Bliss Marketing, so they could apply the theories they were learning in the classroom to the real world.
“We did things like market research for Nelson Airport and marketing audits for small and medium enterprises,” says Lucy. “I always tried to look for the practical application and opportunities to practice what we were learning. My motto is if you’re going to do something, do it well and be the best you can be.”
The former Waimea College head girl didn’t go straight into tertiary study after leaving school. “I’d always been interested in business but didn’t know what I wanted to study. I also needed a break from studying and I didn’t want a student loan or feel quite ready to leave Nelson. However after working for a couple of years, I realised study was an investment.”
At 20, Lucy enrolled on NMIT’s Bachelor of Commerce degree and soon discovered that marketing and management was where her passion lay. She enjoyed the applied style of learning at NMIT. “The tutors were well skilled in everything and had actual backgrounds in industry and could share their personal experiences. My classmates were fantastic – very diverse and that’s what makes it special. You learn from each other’s stories. You could be studying alongside people who’ve been in business for 20 years. I found that provided extra motivation and was a good way to network,” she says.
Not only did Lucy set up her own marketing company while at NMIT, she also held down a permanent part-time job as a conference and sponsorship assistant at onCue, won an inaugural NMIT scholarship to travel to China to teach a business paper and took up an internship with the Tasman Makos to assist with social media marketing. “I had to ‘learn to learn’ and get really good at balancing,” Lucy says. “I was also really organised, and it helped that I had a great boss at onCue who was very flexible and supported my study.”
Today, Lucy is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at The Pullman & Mercure Melbourne Albert Park hotel in Australia which is an Accor Hotel. The Accor group is in 92 countries and is the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe with 3,500 hotels, 450,000 rooms and 160,000 employees. Her role is ‘Back of House’ and involves assisting the sales team. “I pull figures and track forecasts and do end of the month reporting. I also apply the loyalty points for the hotel’s loyalty programme, update content on third party websites and take care of marketing collateral such as sales flyers. I’m the youngest and it’s a fantastic team – there’s a lot of banter,” she says.
Lucy says the company’s values are a good fit with her own – something that she sees as vital for any role she undertakes. “Whatever I do, it’s got to be meaningful and align with my values and beliefs. Accor has key values that reasonate with me –,” she says.
While Lucy is enjoying her new role and living in Melbourne, New Zealand still has her heart. “The reason I went to Australia was because I wanted to be able to buy a rental property in New Zealand, gain experience and have an adventure that would challenge me personally. I will come back to New Zealand one day though– my heart is here and being back, I realise how much I miss it. I’m proud to be a Kiwi and I love Nelson.”
Lucy says she one day hopes to work in Accor Corporate at the New Zealand national level.
With an exciting career ahead of her, Lucy believes the NMIT Bachelor of Commerce degree stacks up against any other commerce degree.
“I would absolutely recommend it but you’ve got to ensure it’s something you’re passionate about because you’ve got to be prepared to continue on even when you don’t feel like it. For me, studying at NMIT was a fantastic opportunity to save money while living at home and gaining the same quality education that you’d get at a university. You’ve just got to decide for yourself whether NMIT stacks up brand-wise. I believe it’s at the same level academically and you have better engagement with tutors due to the smaller classes. I was thrilled and proud to be a graduate from NMIT.”
After completing her studies at NMIT, Lucy went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Marketing) (PGDipBusAdmin) from Massey University, studying by distance.