Uni challenge for marketing maven

Amanda Stevenson

From the Police to marketing then consulting, Amanda Stevenson had multi-career success – a few years ago, she’d done it all, except graduate from university. But now the 51-year-old manager has realised her goal, completing the University of Auckland’s post-graduate diploma in business studies in 2010. She says it’s given her confidence and broadened her thinking.

Stevenson, and husband Paul, own National Contract Services Limited (NCSL) and manage contracts in the telecommunications industry. With two adult children also involved in the business and tertiary study, the Stevensons are a competitive bunch. So, it’s no wonder that Stevenson was super keen to study with the Graduate School of Enterprise when she found out Paul had plans to. With no tertiary qualifications, but a lifetime of experience, she deliberately chose the diploma as a pathway into MBA study.

Stevenson began her career in the Police before getting involved with sales and marketing, eventually as a senior product manager for Nivea skincare. After becoming a mother and some part-time work, she began contracting in start-ups, manufacturing and business associations.

“When I was doing that I realised I really had to have a reputable degree. Then I realised that if I wanted to do a higher level of contracting, I had to have a higher level of degree,” she says.

“The post-graduate diploma has given me a broader education. I just think it’s a fantastic thing. You can’t go wrong having an education – and the latest education, too. I covered subjects I just haven’t encountered before, like quantitative analysis and detailed finance.”

And while she found writing for uni a challenge at first, Stevenson enjoyed the pace studying over two years.

“It gave me time to really work hard and it gave me time to gain more confidence. To me, it was just a challenge after challenge.”

She says all the diploma students learned from each other’s strengths, like Stevenson’s own from her career in marketing. She enjoyed passing on her knowledge so much, she’s tinkering with the idea of pursuing yet another career – as a lecturer.

“The diploma study has given me more confidence… now, I question more.”

The University of Auckland Postgraduate Diploma in Business (PGDipBus) has intakes in January and June each year and the MBA intake is in January each year. Applications are welcome from business executives and leaders.  Find out more at www.gse.auckland.ac.nz

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