As part of our alumni series, the MCSA team sat down with ex Vice-President of MCSA (2018/2019) Ella Marelich! Ella graduated from the University of Waikato in 2019 and shortly afterwards began an internship with Foodstuffs New Zealand. Ella has just finished her internship and is a Corporate Affairs Coordinator for Foodstuffs!
So what does your life look like now? What are you up to?
Well I work from home even though Foodstuffs is an essential business! And I literally just respond to the media all day! I monitor the emails and we got about 20 to 30 media enquiries a day for about two weeks when COVID was at its peak. An email will pop up, and my job is to reply to the emails, pop it in a document, lead my team’s meeting at 1pm and then assign tasks to people. Some of the enquiries mean that senior executives of Foodstuffs need to talk to my team, but that’s another call, and then I get to deal with the easy ones!
What’s your official job role?
It’s going to be Corporate Affairs Coordinator for Foodstuffs New Zealand, for the external communications team. External communications is really cool! But don’t let anyone tell you that you get to choose whether you get to do crisis comms, because it just comes upon you. You don’t get to choose crisis comms, crisis comms chooses you.
In our last blog post, recent UoW graduate Tessa Preddy gave us the lowdown on her internship. In part II of this interview, Tessa talks about her experience leaving University, and offers some advice for prospective and current communications students!
How have you found moving to Wellington?
It’s been great, I love Wellington, it's a super cool city. I would definitely recommend moving here although there are way too many good places to eat and drink which is mainly where my paycheck goes. My advice for students is to move away to the bigger cities like Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch as there are so many opportunities for communications work! Spread your wings and get out of Hamilton!
What helped you get settled into a new city and settled in your new start?
When I first moved, it was a bit difficult because I didn’t have any accomodation sorted. None of my apartment viewings went to plan, so I ended up in a not so preferable situation that I then moved out of. So try to be a bit more prepared on where you are going to live for sure. But at the same time try and go with the flow and know that when things don’t really work out it’s not the end of the world, you have to play it by ear and be adaptable! Make sure you keep in contact with friends and family at home and definitely try and do something like play a sport or join a group to try and meet people.