MEET: Sharon Mashau, the Faculty of Education’s new Head of Marketing and Communications

Posted on October 23, 2020

“UP was one of the institutions that I aspired to be part of,” says the marketing and communications head, who details her career trajectory and her new role at the University.

Sharon Mashau, new Head of Marketing and Communications in the Faculty of Education, tells Tukkievaria more about her career and what brought her to UP.

Where did you work prior to joining UP?

I have 16 years of experience in marketing and communications, 10 of which were in both the public and private higher education sectors. Before joining UP on 1 October this year, my most recent position was at the University of the Witwatersrand. Before that I was Head of Marketing and Communications at Monash University in Australia from December 2017 to April 2018; prior to that, I held the same position at the University of Venda, from 2011 to 2017 November.

I hold a BCom honours degree in Marketing, a BBA in Project Management and Management Practice, and a master’s in Management (Customer Relationship Management) from Southern Business School. I also hold multiple certificates in branding, communications, digital marketing, media and public relations. I am an active member of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa and a certified charted public relations practitioner. Throughout my career, I acquired multiple skills and expertise, which includes unique leadership styles, negotiation, delegation and managing team and individual performance.

What attracted you to UP?

The working culture, the environment and the brand. I have been building my career and making sure that I’m a well-seasoned marketing and communications professional in higher education – UP was one of the institutions that I aspired to be part of.

What does your day-to-day role entail?

My role involves media liaison, acting as managing editor of the faculty newsletter and managing the appearance of the faculty in other publications. I also oversee internal and external communications, relationship building with special visitors and external stakeholders, the faculty website, events management, and the management of photographic services.

What you like to improve in the faculty and why?

I would like to improve the look and feel of the faculty website by encouraging effective management and a content update. A digital presence is key, but most importantly, the content on online platforms needs to be up to date and relevant. I am also working on bringing some structure to the marketing and communications of the faculty to ensure adherence to the university-wide marketing and communications policies and procedures, especially when it comes to faculty brand usage and promotion.

What do you enjoy most about your job and why?                                             

I enjoy all aspects of my job, and while there are sometimes challenges, I enjoy those too because they keep me on my toes. My favourite aspect though is events management, brand building and stakeholder engagement.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

Dealing with difficult personalities. My field of work requires patience, because there is constant communication with various stakeholders as well as many deadlines to meet. It becomes a challenge when I have to fulfil my duties but at the same time manage difficult personalities. I constantly have to remember that we are all different, and try to manage personalities and expectations on a case-by-case basis.

What do you do in your free time?

I listen to music, watch a good movie or series, do a mini road trip or take a long walk.

What are your personal likes and dislikes?

I like travelling, exploring and spending quality time with family and friends. I don’t like winter, because I just can’t stand the cold as it limits my movements.

Quick quiz:

Food: African cuisine

Movies: Action, drama, comedy and thriller

Actor: Denzel Washington

Musician: Bob Marley, Michel W Smith, Benjamin Dube and Lebo Sekgobela

- Author Jimmy Masombuka

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