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Staff Profile: Judith Marecek, Programme Manager

16 September 2022

The Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) runs a wide range of free programmes and workshops designed to help students and staff of all faculties at the University of Auckland develop entrepreneurial mindsets and innovative capabilities. Leading the team that creates CIE’s programmes is Programme Manager Judith Marecek.

Tell us a little about your background and how you ended up at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). 

Prior to starting at CIE, I had a career in event management and marketing in many different countries and organisations, ranging from working at Parliament house in Canberra Australia, to running a large conference team at the Langham Hotel in London, to organising conferences for Pearson Publishing – it was all this experience that initially landed me my first role at CIE.  

What does your job as Programme Manager of CIE Involve? 

It involves a wide range of responsibilities, and on any given day I wear many hats. We are the team that creates and organises all the co-curricular programmes the Centre delivers to over 2,000 participants per year. We create the programme schedule for the year, starting from setting learn outcomes for each programme, to programme design, to facilitating and reviewing the programmes. We also guide students on their entrepreneurial journey with one-on-one coaching and connect and introduce them to external stakeholders, and the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem. Another important element of the role is designing, creating and managing systems and processes, ensuring the best experience for all our stakeholders.   

What is your favourite part of your job? 

To enable and witness the development in our participants, the students and staff of the University. In particular for the longer programmes, we see remarkable improvements in confidence, communication skills, problem solving ability and an awareness of how they can make a positive contribution in the world. Many of our programmes conclude with a celebration, and seeing the participants on stage, beaming with pride at their achievements is such a highlight of my job – to know that our programmes contribute to this development is a powerful reason for me to work hard every day.  

Why is it important that the University of Auckland and other institutions around the world invest in teaching innovation and entrepreneurship? 

The world has many challenges, and to solve them, we need people who can think outside the box, are okay with trying, not succeeding, learning and trying again to create solutions. This is what an entrepreneurial mindset is all about, and this is why it is so important that Centre’s such as CIE are supported and all graduates leave University being exposed to the advantages of an entrepreneurial mindset.   

What are some highlights from your time with CIE so far? 

Our team has won many awards and accolades in recognition of the quality and impact of our programmes, which is wonderful. For me though, the real highlights are always the personal ones, where a student shares that it was the encouragement received that made them stay the distance, that participation in our programmes landed them their dream role, or the experiences received through our programmes were the highlight of their time at University – those are for me the real highlights.   

Any words of advice for students and staff at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys? 

For me an entrepreneurial journey means stepping up and tackling an issue you see, whether that is in your neighbourhood or a global opportunity. Know that what you do makes a difference, so start – the world needs you. And you don’t have to do it alone, our students and staff are always surprised at how much support is available, and how many people are eager to help.   

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why? 

I would invite our extended family from all around the word to enjoy a home cooked meal, made by my husband – it’s been too long since we’ve all been altogether.   

When you’re not working, what would we find you doing? 

I love exploring the country on foot, with our dogs – so when not working my happy place is walking and exploring the natural beauty of New Zealand. 

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

16 September 2022

The Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) runs a wide range of free programmes and workshops designed to help students and staff of all faculties at the University of Auckland develop entrepreneurial mindsets and innovative capabilities. Leading the team that creates CIE’s programmes is Programme Manager Judith Marecek.

Tell us a little about your background and how you ended up at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). 

Prior to starting at CIE, I had a career in event management and marketing in many different countries and organisations, ranging from working at Parliament house in Canberra Australia, to running a large conference team at the Langham Hotel in London, to organising conferences for Pearson Publishing – it was all this experience that initially landed me my first role at CIE.  

What does your job as Programme Manager of CIE Involve? 

It involves a wide range of responsibilities, and on any given day I wear many hats. We are the team that creates and organises all the co-curricular programmes the Centre delivers to over 2,000 participants per year. We create the programme schedule for the year, starting from setting learn outcomes for each programme, to programme design, to facilitating and reviewing the programmes. We also guide students on their entrepreneurial journey with one-on-one coaching and connect and introduce them to external stakeholders, and the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem. Another important element of the role is designing, creating and managing systems and processes, ensuring the best experience for all our stakeholders.   

What is your favourite part of your job? 

To enable and witness the development in our participants, the students and staff of the University. In particular for the longer programmes, we see remarkable improvements in confidence, communication skills, problem solving ability and an awareness of how they can make a positive contribution in the world. Many of our programmes conclude with a celebration, and seeing the participants on stage, beaming with pride at their achievements is such a highlight of my job – to know that our programmes contribute to this development is a powerful reason for me to work hard every day.  

Why is it important that the University of Auckland and other institutions around the world invest in teaching innovation and entrepreneurship? 

The world has many challenges, and to solve them, we need people who can think outside the box, are okay with trying, not succeeding, learning and trying again to create solutions. This is what an entrepreneurial mindset is all about, and this is why it is so important that Centre’s such as CIE are supported and all graduates leave University being exposed to the advantages of an entrepreneurial mindset.   

What are some highlights from your time with CIE so far? 

Our team has won many awards and accolades in recognition of the quality and impact of our programmes, which is wonderful. For me though, the real highlights are always the personal ones, where a student shares that it was the encouragement received that made them stay the distance, that participation in our programmes landed them their dream role, or the experiences received through our programmes were the highlight of their time at University – those are for me the real highlights.   

Any words of advice for students and staff at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys? 

For me an entrepreneurial journey means stepping up and tackling an issue you see, whether that is in your neighbourhood or a global opportunity. Know that what you do makes a difference, so start – the world needs you. And you don’t have to do it alone, our students and staff are always surprised at how much support is available, and how many people are eager to help.   

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why? 

I would invite our extended family from all around the word to enjoy a home cooked meal, made by my husband – it’s been too long since we’ve all been altogether.   

When you’re not working, what would we find you doing? 

I love exploring the country on foot, with our dogs – so when not working my happy place is walking and exploring the natural beauty of New Zealand. 


EMAIL
CIE@AUCKLAND.AC.NZ

PHONE
09 923 4526

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