Marketing students go beyond the textbooks and into the NZ Portrait Gallery

Marketing students go beyond the textbooks and into the NZ Portrait Gallery

This year, marketing students from Wellington School of Business and Government had the chance to collaborate with the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. Student Arisha Singh explains how her class went beyond the textbooks to develop marketing strategies to raise the organisation’s profile.

Arisha Singh has recently completed her Bachelor of Commerce

Often at university, students are given the tools and knowledge to help us in the outside world. They shape our future and provide us with the skillset to be employable. Yet we often get carried away with the theory and forget about the necessary practical experience needed to jumpstart our careers. My MARK303: Strategic Marketing Management lecturer, Associate Professor Daniel Laufer, saw this and decided his third-year marketing students needed some hands-on experience.

MARK303 is a capstone course for the marketing major, where students are encouraged to combine their accumulated marketing knowledge to create a strategy for an actual client. This year, students had the privilege of working alongside the New Zealand Portrait Gallery–a Wellington organisation whose purpose is capturing the lives of New Zealanders through portraiture.

Early on in the project, Jaenine Parkinson, Director of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, gave us a presentation about the challenges the organisation is currently facing. Around 160 students were given 12 weeks to individually develop a marketing strategy to address issues like changing outdated perceptions about portraiture.  Four finalists were then chosen to present their ideas at the gallery.

Arisha and her team at the at the New Zealand portrait Gallery

The finalists were me, Rupert Stobo, Layla Gutterson, and Jara Loeliger. We had the pleasure of presenting our strategy to the director and trustees of the Gallery. Being able to showcase our ideas in a professional environment like that was an experience that is incomparable to anything we’d ever done before. I was pleased to see the smiles on their faces as we presented a realistic and thrilling future for the gallery—something that they said they were eager to read about further in our reports and discuss.

I believe that this course and presentation is a unique opportunity for students. MARK303 incorporated practical marketing experience into course objectives by giving students full control to develop their solutions in a real-life context. The course revolutionises the meaning of ‘applying your knowledge.’

For third-year students, this marks a final and bittersweet chapter to celebrate the end of our marketing major. We finished with the satisfaction of having made an impact on this organisation and that is something that will be carried with us forever.

Arisha Singh recently completed her Bachelor of Commerce majoring in both Marketing and Information Systems. She will be graduating in May 2020.  

Interested in sharing your experience? Read our submission guidelines and get in touch with your story ideas