Five Minutes with Lara Mathews

2 minutes read
Posted 18 June, 2024
Lara copy v2

Photo credit: Irene Maton Photography

I am the Marketing Manager at Edgewater, Lake Wānaka. I have been asked to share my story and with it I hope to inspire other women working towards their goals.

My journey
I grew up in small town Waihi, raised by a single mother. I always had dreams of moving overseas and into a powerful, important job. Inspired by 80’s power suits and New York I was extremely determined and self-motivated to be at my best. I knew that knowledge and hard work would lead me to my dream career and where I wanted to go so, I studied hard and persevered. I went to A.U.T completing a degree in design.

Once I graduated, NZ was in the financial crisis with no jobs, so I made the move, like many Kiwis at that time, to Australia.

I spent seven years in Perth in marketing for a cooperative buying group that operated across AU, NZ, and South Africa. I started as a temp which grew into a full-time role. Then it was onto Vancouver for the next two years as a marketing specialist in the digital experience team of a top online brokerage firm. This was a $60 billion company and I was working under Catherine Wood. Catherine was in the top 100 most powerful women in Canada.

Once I had reached my goals I returned to NZ with my partner (who I meet in Perth) and started at Edgewater in Wānaka. Initially as a part time social media specialist but grew the role into full time marketing manager with my skills and experience. While at Edgewater I’ve completed the Wānaka Leadership Academy and started a Culture Committee that recognises and rewards staff achievements. On a personal level we have just welcomed our first baby into the world and bought our first home in Alexandra. A huge achievement for us to do on our own.

Edgewater has always supported its people to grow their careers and is heavily involved in the local community. My work is inspiring and creative with menu and brand launches, photoshoots, weddings, and social media. But the best thing is the people, they are so kind and caring. The team is a real family.

My advice
Do what you love. Keep going, persevere and don’t give up. It will happen! Keep an open mind to opportunity. I started my roles as a temp, or part time which grew into the roles I wanted based on my potential. I am also a strong believer in balance, I have seen many powerful women burnout.Take time for yourself and your family.

You can achieve your goals even from a small town and humble beginnings. It’s so important to support and encourage others.


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