Naomi van den Broek
'My job is about building relationships and networks, and investing people with a passion for a cause...'
Project Manager, Barrer & Co
Singer and Actress
With parallel careers as a performer and a fundraiser Naomi is pursuing her goal of contributing to society and the arts in New Zealand.
‘I am doing work that I believe in,’ she says. ‘The feeling that I am making a contribution to something is really important to me.
‘My job is primarily about building relationships and networks, and investing people with a passion for a cause. It uses my varied skill set. I like it because it is one hundred percent people-focused, but I get to use the part of my brain that loves planning, strategy, administration and problem solving in a way that I haven’t before. I also get to do a lot of writing, which is something I love.’
Originally from Christchurch, Naomi grew up in Tauranga, but returned to her birth town after finishing high school. Having completed her secondary teaching qualification Naomi taught music and drama at both primary and secondary level. She was also a singing and song writing teacher at CPIT in Christchurch and currently lectures in song writing for the UC School of Music. A firm believer in the broad benefits of further education, Naomi says her studies have shaped her into the person she is today.
‘Education is not just about a career. Without the stimulation and challenge of further education I don’t believe my life would be as interesting, varied or fulfilling as it is today…With every course of study I have undertaken there have been new challenges. What I have gained throughout my years of study has not only been knowledge of the subject matter itself, but also the accumulation of myriad skills and lessons along the way.
Following her honours degree in Music, specialising in singing, Naomi went on to gain a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, both at UC.
‘Canterbury was my university of choice – everything I wanted was on offer here. I had some fantastic teachers. In particular with my MFA, I had the most amazing supervisor. He made the year for me. I ended up touring New Zealand performing one of the pieces I worked on during that year with him. It was a fantastic outcome and a really great feeling. It’s also great being in such a huge learning environment. I could permanently move into the library and live a happy life!’
Naomi’s enjoyment of her career is clear, and she explains that her philosophy is to pursue things she enjoys.
‘I haven’t really had a plan in mind, but have always believed that if you follow your heart the rest will fall into place – accompanied by hard work of course!’
Having previously worked in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra as a Business Development Manager, Naomi now works at Barrer & Co as Project Manager, a fundraising agency for not-for-profit organisations.
She encourages others to consider a creative arts degree, saying it will always be a valuable asset.
‘If it is your passion, and you have the ability and the drive, do it! You will lead a rich and rewarding life because of it, and the world needs artists as much as it needs engineers and scientists. In the words of Nietzsche: “we have art in order not to die of the truth”.’