Qistina Binti Zainir won the Australian Marketing Institute’s (AMI) inaugural Student Achievement Award for her outstanding results at RMIT.
Qistina said she was stoked to win the award, with her program coordinator Dr. Linda Robinson pushing her to submit the award for her work in the Marketing Management course, one of the first core courses that Master of Marketing students undertake.
Her assignment was to develop a marketing plan for Fitbit Australia that included implementation plans for a new product launch. With the help of a reference letter from Dr. Robinson and course lecturer Liz Eades, her submission became a state winner, followed by a national one.
The award’s judges said her submission was a “well-presented, comprehensive marketing plan.”
“It is creatively executed, successfully applies core marketing concepts, and demonstrates the use of marketing strategy to a very high standard,” they said in their judgement.
Dr. Robinson praised Qistina’s work in the Marketing Management course, and her efforts since completing the course.
“In 2020 Qistina has also volunteered as a student mentor for Marketing Management, and has been offering weekly virtual mentoring sessions for our current students,” she said.
“Qis has made a significant impact on the team across our program and is a valued member of our classes. Qis is simply an exceptional representative of RMIT University and is a great example of what our students can - and do - achieve.
“This is the first year the AMI has offered a Student Achievement award category, so it is wonderful to have an RMIT student as the inaugural national award winner.”
Qistina said she initially found the course difficult because of her lack of a marketing background, but grew into it as the semester went on.
“I did my undergraduate degree in psychology. The original plan was to continue the pathway to become a registered psychologist here in Australia. But towards the end of the degree I got so burnt out that I decided to pause and take a break,” she explained.
“I had little to no background or professional experience in the marketing field, so it was a challenge to keep up with the course.
“I’ve dabbled in some small marketing roles during my involvement with student council activities throughout my undergraduate years, but they were never really that extensive. I enjoyed it though.
“I’ve always had a knack for writing and I think that’s where I really shine. So coming up with blurbs and catchphrases was something I had fun with and thought, ‘if I could make a living out of this…’.”
Qistina said she can see the social benefits of marketing as a tool for ethical choice-making.
"We’re moving towards a society that is becoming more conscious of their consumption and purchase behaviour,” she said. “We are the bridge between our organisation and consumers, and of course the wider society.
“We’re seeing more brands hop on the bandwagon advocating for responsible and ethical practices throughout their supply chain.
“I am hopeful and optimistic that brands will shift to this kind of messaging, where they balance corporate financial goals with social responsibility.
“Organisations have resources to reach audiences, and beyond hitting that bottom line financially, corporations are under greater scrutiny for treating every actor in their network ethically, including the land on which they operate.”
Qistina is still trying to work out what direction she wants to go in her career, but can see herself in marketing at least for the “near future”.
“There’s a Japanese concept called ‘Ikigai’, which means ‘a reason for being’. It’s essentially the overlap of (a) what you’re good at, (b) what you love, (c) what you get paid for, and (d) what the world needs. I’m still trying to find my ‘Ikigai’,” she explained.
“If we’re talking big dreams, I’d love to work in film and television. I produced a mini web series a couple of years ago and it was an exhilarating experience, and I hope to dabble in that industry again.
“And seeing how this pandemic has impacted the way we consume content is a challenge I think would be stimulating for me to tackle.”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer