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Rising Stars at PHD Media

  • PHD

Through Unitec’s partnership with PHD Media, graduates are making their mark at this award-winning communications planning and media buying agency.

PHD Media prides itself on delivering smart strategic thinking and creative innovation for some of the world’s leading brands. And, as winners of the Beacons Media Agency of the Year in both 2018 and 2019, they’re also a sought-after place to work.

PHD has partnered with Unitec since 2018. The relationship primarily centres on the uptake of many Unitec graduates to the PHD internship programme and, as PHD Chief Technology Officer Christopher Spencer says, it’s a win-win for the two organisations.

“At PHD we firmly believe that it’s important for the future of our industry to create opportunities for learning and development. That’s why we’re so proud to be able to support a thriving internship programme that offers valuable ‘on the job’ training for Unitec students.”

Ivan Atkins, Head of Technology at PHD, says the agency has been particularly impressed with the capability and motivation of the Unitec’s graduates, as well as their ability to put their learnings into practice.

“The Unitec interns we’ve worked with to date have shown themselves to be very motivated, capable and keen to learn new skills. More importantly, they’ve been able to apply the expertise they’ve gained from their studies in a practical manner to our industry - even when, in some cases, it doesn’t have a direct relation to their studies.”

One example of a Unitec graduate who’s gone on to do great things at PHD is Giang Le, who joined the team back in 2018 as an intern in a data assistant role. The company quickly saw his potential and moved him into a permanent, full time position.

Over the following year Giang developed a data pipeline programme for the agency and continued to develop his skills - learning more about the business and requirements of its clients. Ivan is now Giang’s manager, and says his addition to the team has been hugely successful.

“Giang’s complementary skillset, technical knowledge and excellent attitude have absolutely benefited the solutions we’ve been able to develop as a business. He has assisted with developing the knowledge of the rest of the team in the technology and data science space.”

It’s Giang’s attitude that has particularly impressed his managers, who describe him as someone who’s always ready to face new challenges and does his best to problem solve on his own before asking for assistance.

“My degree at Unitec taught me good communication skills, a good work ethic and an understanding of the New Zealand attitude towards work,” says Giang. “I count myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity, through Unitec’s partnership with PHD Media, to join the team as an intern and put these skills into practice. I work hard, prioritise important projects and always give things a go.”

Giang’s impressive work ethic recently saw him receive the agency’s 2019 annual Rising Star Award.

“Achieving the Rising Star Award was a real highlight for me. The great thing about PHD is that they give everybody the opportunity to own their own tasks and take full responsibility for their completion. This allows us to improve our knowledge and management skills while also feeling supported. It’s a great working environment and a really inclusive culture.”

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