Report by NewsroomPlus.com
Contributed by University of Auckland
Contrary to the usual stereotypes, university students are very busy.
And in the case of Edward Elder, too busy to even organise his graduation.
The 29 year-old from the Henderson Valley graduated with four degrees at yesterday’s graduation ceremony. He was capped with a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a Master of Arts, and a PhD.
While some people in the crowd may have taken him for a genius, Edward has a simple explanation.
“I never really got caught up in the University lifestyle, I would go to classes, and then I would go home to study, or I would study at the public library.”
So after his Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Politics and International Relations as well as Film, Television and Media Studies, he went straight to his honours.
When the opportunity came up to attend the graduation ceremony Edward decided it wasn’t for him.
“In 2008 I was doing my honours year and it was really, really busy, by far the most intense with deadlines twice a week. I was constantly working, it’s never ending.”
“Everyone else was stressing out about how much of a hassle it is.”
The same thing happened when he did his Masters.
He was content finishing his MA until one day his supervisor, Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment asked him a simple question.
“We were watching the 2010 British election, there would have been about a month left on my thesis and she just turned to me and said ‘have you thought about doing a PhD?’”
“So I said, ‘sure.’”
Now he’s graduating with all the degrees at the university’s Spring Graduation next Tuesday.
“I thought I would just do it all at once.”
However he says he will just wear the regalia for his PhD, rather than every hood he has earned.
His PhD, “A New Model of Communication for Market-Oriented Governing Leaders: portraying the qualities of being in touch, leadership, and credibility in office” is around political marketing communication, particularly around the communication strategies of contemporary market-oriented governing leaders.
Edward is well versed in politics, his dad, Jack Elder, was a Labour Party and then New Zealand First MP.
But he has no plans to enter politics. Instead, he hopes to work in political marketing.
He also written a chapter in the recently released book “Political Marketing in the United States” titled “Communicating Contemporary Leadership in Government”.
He is also the editor of the Political Marketing Group Newsletter.