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Emma Weber is one of our younger alumni who is surging ahead in a career we wouldn’t have dreamt of a decade ago.  Emma creates memes for a living as a content creator, running multiple brand's social media accounts - UP&GOWeet-Bix NZ, Marmite, So Good NZ and Sanitarium Weet-Bix TRYathlon.  

Career direction for Emma was found during her time at Whakatane Intermediate. During Year 7 an activity where she could pick a job off a website, work out how much the salary would be and budget living costs was the catalyst for the career she enjoys today.  She picked Marketing Manager and since then was always seeking to tailor her learning towards a creative/marketing role. Emma says being at Trident had a great hand in helping her get where she is today in the marketing/media/digital field as not all schools offer subjects like Media Studies and Digital Design which she says really gave her a kick start early on.  After completing Year 13 at Trident, Emma attended AUT where she completed a Communications Degree majoring in Digital Media and Minoring in Advertising.  Just before graduating Emma applied to become the summer intern at UP&GO and was awarded the coveted position. The internship involved running the UP&GO social media accounts creating content (videos, memes, illustrations) and after the summer was over the company asked her to stay on a bit longer and create content for some of their other brands like ‘So Good dairy free milks’ and ‘Marmite’.  Because she had proven herself to the company during the internship she was then able to gain a position which usually requires 3+ years experience when the boss at the time took leave. 

At school Emma was equally good at all subjects and found success in all that she did.  She describes her teachers as always being so passionate about their students and acknowledges some of them.  “Mr Lewis, my Maths teacher in my early years someone I'd like to acknowledge as I've got such fond memories of that class, as well as Ms Bowe my English teacher whom I admired for the talent and skill she has for her subject.  Mr Geenty my PE teacher was great with my class even if we all weren't the most athletic he had great jokes too. Mrs Thompson my main design teacher was awesome and pushed me to get the design scholarship which I'm still so proud of today, I was also that student in year 13 who just hung out in the design room at lunchtime instead of getting sunshine, so thanks for letting me use that room!”

Emma says in order to get experience to follow a career path like hers it is quite easy to showcase your experience even without finding a relevant part time job in Whakatane. She advises to use spare time to play around with website building, creating logos and branding for a relatives business or sports teams.  “You could set up business social media accounts - even if it is just for fun, teach yourself Photoshop or video editing at home from YouTube. School/University can only show you so much, it’s self-motivated at home skill building which will be the reason you stand out. I'm currently in the position on hiring our next UP&GO summer intern, and looking through applications, it is the people that can show (not just say) what they can do that stand out the most.”  Besides skills to showcase, Emma says personality is everything! Of course it's important to be skilled and have a good enough CV to get an interview but in the end I've always found people will get hired based on their personality fit to a company and their authenticity Emma says.

Not only has Emma fast tracked her Marketing career but she has also excelled as a Dancer in a Kpop Dance Group (Korean Pop Music holds an extensive global following)  - MDC. She listened to Korean Pop music in high school and the dance classes she found in Auckland offered hiphop and Kpop dance classes which she went to. During those classes she made a few friends and there was an opportunity to perform at Auckland University Emma and her friends formed the crew that is now MDC.  A couple of months back her group competed in the Wellington national K-pop cover competition and placed first. This was a preliminary round for the world competition held in South Korea but the team had never dreamed of this as only 13 teams get picked from around the world from thousands of entries. Emma’s team was selected and they have recently returned from performing in South Korea “a magical experience meeting so many people from all over the world. Our team didn't place but just going on the 2 weeks all expenses paid for trip was worth so much in itself.”


Follow videos of Emma’s dance group, her crews youtube is 

To see what sort of work Emma does, check out the UP&GO page

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