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Budgy Smuggler gives back to Manly community, hires ICMS students

Budgy Smuggler gives back to Manly community, hires ICMS students

December 10, 2020

Now at the helm of Australia’s favourite swimwear brand, International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) alumnus Brenden Hartmann is giving back to his alma mater – and the broader Manly community – by hiring current ICMS students as interns in the growing company based in Manly.

ICMS and Budgy Smuggler are both based in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW. As General Manager, Hartmann has chosen to support local by hiring local. At the moment, two current ICMS students are working at Budgy Smuggler: Jess West, studying a Bachelor of Business Management (Fashion and Global Brand Management), and Yool Yool, studying a Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment and Valuation).

“Jess has been with us for over two years now, initially working in both our retail store and warehouse. She recently moved into our office in Manly looking after our Social Media and broader Marketing strategy, which she had a taste of while she completed her industry training earlier this year. Yool has just started with us working at our warehouse and will be in our retail store across the summer into the New Year,” Hartmann said.

“They’re both going great! Jess, having been with us for some time now, gets the vibe and understands what we’re looking for from our crew – she’s absolutely nailing it. Yool is brand new to the team and has fit in seamlessly. He has a great work ethic and hasn’t missed a beat since starting.”

As an ICMS student, Hartmann completed his industry training at SEA Australia on Manly Beach and at Rock n’ Bowl at Manly Bowling Club.

Internships are a key part of the Work Integrated Learning program, and are dedicated subjects offered in every bachelor degree at ICMS.

Hartmann said hiring local students was a natural extension of the company’s love for the area, even as Budgy Smuggler’s growth has gone international.

“We have an attachment to the Manly area in general, it’s where most of us have been raised and it’s where the company is based and has grown. We like being part of the wider community, which includes ICMS,” he said.

“We enjoy being actively involved with our local community; from sponsoring local events and sports teams to assisting and, on a personal level, providing guidance to other small businesses in the area. This also includes looking to hire local students who’ve actively shown an interest in the Budgy Smuggler brand.”

Hartmann completed his ICMS business degree in 2012, and joined Budgy Smuggler on a casual basis before taking on the role of general manager. The company has grown since opening its first store in Manly in 2018, and has become a recognisable – and much loved – Aussie brand thanks to an irreverent marketing campaign and quality swimmers. Online sales to the UK and across Australia have driven growth, although Hartmann emphasises that while growing globally, local is where the loyalty lies.

“We’re in a unique position at the moment, where people are now consciously steering away from overseas goods and looking to more Australian Made products, like ours, not just for Christmas gifts but products and services in general… We manufacture all of our swimwear here in Australia – just over in Marrickville, Sydney. People really resonate with, and are attached to, Australian Made products, particularly in the last 6-8 months,” he said.

“The success of Budgy can largely be put down to the local area of Manly, and Sydney in general, getting around the brand in its early days. Without a strong, loyal base in our local area we wouldn’t possibly have the reach and following we do now.”

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Bachelor of Business Management (Fashion and Global Brand Management), Work Integrated Learning, News, Current Students