When CPIT radio broadcasting student Rebecca Bastin graduated this autumn, Christchurch MediaWorks Canterbury boss Sarah Clarke says it was like watching her baby reach adulthood.
As promotions manager for radio station The Edge, Clarke took on the then 19 year-old Bastin as an intern from CPIT's New Zealand School of Broadcasting's radio programme in November 2013, and has kept her under her wing ever since.
"We don't take too many interns, but the ones we've had have been fantastic, and Becka has been a stand-out."
In her element: New Zealand Broadcasting School graduate Rebecca Bastin is relishing her career in radio, with MediaWorks in Christchurch, under the guidance of MediaWorks promotion manager Sarah Clarke.
Initially employed to cover a colleague's maternity leave, top graduate Bastin was kept on to become Clarke's 'mini-me', trailing her for a year to learn the cut and thrust of commercial radio as a promotions coordinator.
"She was not only work-ready but she was ready to learn," Clare says. "It was sink or swim, but she proved she could definitely swim on her own."
Clarke puts Bastin's success down to good training and hard work.
"Going to CPIT is very important to make connections in the industry and to gain knowledge. Unless you've grown-up with it, to get an idea of what radio's like, doing a course is the best way to get the exposure and skills needed for such a full-on job."
Bastin has coordinated many wild and wacky promotions such as last November's Santa Drop, where a helicopter unleashed 500 ping pong balls over Christchurch.
"I love that radio is so immediate and reactive. I fell in love with that aspect, right from the start," Bastin says.
Her eyes were opened at broadcasting school about how many jobs there are in radio. "At the start - like many of us - I wanted to be a presenter. I thought I'd be the next big announcer"
However, through her experience in helping run CPIT's student station, Bastin learned about the sales and promotion aspect of the industry, and how this could also be a creative and fun role.
"I loved how hands-on the training was, and when I started work, I think my employers thought they would be throwing me in the deep end, but actually I'd done most of the stuff before at broadcasting school. People in the workplace were even surprised at how much I knew."
Bastin says she also owes her blossoming radio career to a supportive work environment, and a CPIT Open Day in 2011.
"I was Year 13 at Burnside High School. I'd been going to open nights for courses all around New Zealand and finally I found a line-up of my skills and talents. Radio just made sense to me."
Bastin says she's happy in her current role but would like to work her way up the radio promotions ladder.
Find out more about studying Broadcasting at CPIT.