Media expert passes on career tips

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 09:00 15/03/2014

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She's rubbed shoulders with sports stars, shaken hands with politicians and this week Westpac's media mogul Sue Foley returned to her roots.

The former Marton woman is the bank's director of corporate affairs in charge of media and communications, which sees her working alongside rugby players like Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, who are bank ambassadors, regularly.

She shared her story of career success with Palmerston North Girls' High School students yesterday as a way to celebrate International Women's Day, which was on March 8.

Schooled at Rangitikei College, Ms Foley has been a medical photographer, a Rangitikei Mail reporter, a horse racing commentator and the chief reporter at the former 2XS radio station and TV3.

She has worked for politicians Michael Moore and Bill English, and done stints in public relations working for Toll New Zealand as well as private consultancy firms.

Ms Foley has held senior roles in government, been the chief of staff of the Opposition and the assistant vice chancellor for external affairs at Massey University, before joining Westpac.

She told students that success comes to those who have faith in their abilities.

"Life's a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and there's lots of different opportunities there that come in sideways to you," she said.

"But it's actually about never being scared to give things a go.

A willingness to work hard helps, she said: "Failure has never worried me . . . you're going to have no's and you're going to have disappointments, I can guarantee it, but the big wins will happen."

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