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No play means other work for Vodafone Warriors

No play means other work for Vodafone Warriors

The season might be over for the Vodafone Warriors, but five-eighth Jerome Ropati and halfback Grant Rovelli are not kicking back - they're using down time to study for a graduate diploma in business at AUT University.

The players join fellow team mates and business students Louis Anderson, Todd Bryne, Nathan Fien, Micheal Luck and Simon Mannering as well as league icon and Warriors development coach, Tony Iro.

The two-year business diploma programme is modelled on an accelerated learning format with papers being taught to fit in with the Warriors' demanding training schedule.

AUT lecturers take classes to the Vodafone Warriors at their home ground, Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

AUT's newest business students have just completed their first paper in Marketing Principles. Jerome says this course has helped him understand the players' role in brand marketing for the Warriors.

"We've looked at how people perceive us - the public, the media, and shareholders - and it has helped us manage how we act."

Team mate Grant Rovelli says studying at AUT gives the players another dimension outside league.

"We tend to play better when we have something else to think about," he says. "It gives us a different perspective on how the organisation works and our role in it. We see a picture of the real world and get a look at our options outside career footie."

Grant says he gets huge personal satisfaction by studying.

"It's great that management have set this partnership up and given us the opportunity to study for a university qualification."

Senior advertising and marketing lecturer Russell Harray says the flexibility of classes is working well.

"They're a great bunch to work with and have a good idea of how marketing and business concepts work in real life," he says. "The online discussions and the test results to date show excellent progress, with some students getting close to 100% results."


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