Birgit Hermann

  • Birgit Hermann

JOB: International Relations Specialist, Auckland Council

QUALIFICATION: Master of International Communication

"I love the variety of projects I manage, from managing events, facilitating international business connections and meeting visiting dignitaries, to writing media articles and speeches for the mayor. One of the highlights so far was successfully lobbying for New Zealand to be selected as profile country of the renowned Hamburg International Film Festival. I coordinated the film selection, media coverage and additional profiling opportunities, and liaised with all stakeholders involved.

The advertisement for my current job specifically asked for someone with a degree in international communication, and my masters degree definitely helped me succeed in the highly competitive interview process. In particular, the intercultural communication seminar we did as part of the degree prepared me for the daily challenges of this job. My lecturers were inspiring and always answered my questions promptly and comprehensively, helping me wherever they could.

My thesis supervisors in particular were very approachable and went the extra mile by reading though my drafts in the middle of the night and looking after me during my data gathering period in Papua New Guinea. I also loved the green surroundings at Unitec; it is very refreshing to have a study break next to a pukeko.

Don’t be shy to ask around for advice – there is always a friendly person with a great idea close by. And start thinking about your topic for the masters thesis or dissertation as soon as possible. It’s a long project but if you plan it smartly, you can do literature reviews for other essays and feed them into your research."