Kelsi Thompson credits her Graduate Diploma in Business for setting up her career, but she still has aspirations of working with her EIT design student husband in their own fashion label.
Kelsi completed the Graduate Diploma in Business through EIT’s School of Business last year and is now the Communications Advisor for the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce – a job she is loving.
“I am really using my qualification a lot. My role includes marketing, writing press releases, looking after social media and writing all the copy for our website. This is what I learned in my graduate diploma, and I am also learning a lot more on the job. My lecturer Russell Booth referred me to this role and was a great support in tailoring my resume to suit the role and helping me understand the unique skills I possess that make me a perfect fit for it.”
Kelsi was born and bred in Hawke’s Bay and studied for a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University of Wellington. A move to Australia saw her work in retail for a number of years in Sydney and Perth, before she and her husband Ashford Thompson decided to return to pursue their academic dreams.
Ashford is in his final year of a Bachelor of Creative Practice (Fashion) through EIT’s IDEAschool, after which they plan to launch their clothing line – Thompson Thompson Clothing through the online platform Shopify.
“He’s the creative brain and my theory was that if he can do all the creative stuff, why don’t I do all the business and marketing, which is why I enrolled in the graduate diploma.”
“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our timelines for our company. We intended to launch the business by the end of 2021, but there was a delay and then the outbreak earlier this year did not help things.”
“We have a Shopify website built, but we just need to find some time for Ashford to put some products together to sell, and then we’re going to push go on that.”
Kelsi says although she found parts of her EIT programme challenging, overall it was a “really positive experience”.
“Coming back into study as an adult, having not written an essay in a decade was quite difficult, but I felt that I had a lot of support from my lecturers and fellow students.”
A component of the graduate diploma programme is having work experience with a local business.
“I was fortunate enough to be in a position where I was able to focus on our own business for that aspect. I knew that part of the programme was to build a business plan and I sought advice from both the School of Business and IDEAschool at EIT. Cheryl Downie, the Discipline Leader – Fashion at IDEAschool was also my mentor.”
Russell Booth, programme co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Business Studies at EIT, says: “When the Chamber of Commerce contacted me about the role, the first person I thought about was Kelsi.“
“Kelsi had demonstrated her exceptional ability to clearly articulate her thoughts and ideas through her assignments so it was relatively easy to match Kelsi with the opportunity.”
Russell says that this is one of the distinct advantages of studying at EIT where lecturers know the strengths of the students when it comes to career opportunities.