Digital specialist

After a globetrotting career in communications, Hayley Stone has come home to study Public Policy.

Key facts

Career: Digital specialist
Programme: Master of Public Policy
Subjects: Media, Film and Television; Public Policy

“The most enjoyable part of my current job is the feeling of making a real and positive difference in the world – even just this small part of it. As a digital communications specialist I work across a number of different and exciting projects.

“This year I was the digital lead on Auckland’s long-term plan, which involved working with amazing people and, together with my colleagues, achieving the brilliant result of over 27,000 Aucklanders having their say on their priorities for Auckland over the next 10 years.

“Upon finishing high school I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted out of life – but I knew I loved the media, and that I would go to university. I felt that a Bachelor of Arts would set me up to explore the options open to me and give me a good grounding with which to move into my adult life.

“I completed my BA at the University of Auckland in 2005, with a major in Media, Film and Television. I did a number of courses that focused on the media communications and theory side of this major. I then spent some time travelling before moving to London, where I did an Advanced Certificate in Public Relations and worked in communications roles.

“From London I moved to New York, where I freelanced as a communications specialist and got involved in the tech community – while in New York I took advantage of all the incredible resources available and learnt everything I could about digital, through online courses and centres such as General Assembly.

“I’m one semester of part-time study into my MPP and I’m already taking new skills into my role. It’s making me a better employee, no doubt. I now question more and research more at the beginning of a project – and that leads to better outcomes.”