What did you study at undergraduate and postgraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now (if applicable)? Are you studying and working at the same time?
I studied Bachelor of Communication (Major in Journalism), Bachelor of Business (Major in Marketing) and Master of International Business. The degrees were completed 2010, 2012 and 2015 respectively.
Please list the most important stages of your life (school, education, experience abroad, jobs etc.)
My time at University while studying Masters of International Business was quite important to me as it allowed me the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong in 2015 for the USLS Leadership Symposium on a scholarship. This trip allowed me to form friendships with students from around the globe, in addition to build networking skills and further appreciate my upbringing in Australia as the symposium was based on Humanitarian Affairs. I also found my first professional role had quite an impact on me. I commenced my first full time role in marketing towards the end of my Bachelor of Communication and went on to study a Bachelor of Business while working full time. My time management skills were enhanced throughout this time as every minute of the day was vital to ensure I completed all of my assessments, in addition to maintaining a social life! The role also assisted in my professional development and I believe I gained much more from my Bachelor of Business thanks to the guidance of my boss, and mentor, on the job.
How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and for how long have you occupied it (if applicable)?
I left my first professional role in sports marketing after six years as I couldn't see any path for progression. From there I took a marketing role for a year in an industry I didn't love, real estate. I then moved on to a role in events and marketing at Newcastle's stadium which I held for two years. Recently, the opportunity arose to apply for a local Government marketing role which I was successful in gaining and commenced four months ago. The role is a maternity cover, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to further my skills in a role which was more aligned to my passion of marketing and communications than my role at the stadium. Although I know it was a risky move, I'm optimistic that it was the right one.
What made you decide to progress with further study?
Both of my parents studied at university and I didn't ever consider a pathway post Year 12 that didn't involve a University degree as it seemed like the only option and looking back, I thought it was ingrained in our family. Since completing my studies, I have realised that studying and succeeding academically was a pressure I placed on myself, and not one that came from my family.
How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?
I chose to study a Bachelor of Communication because I wanted to be a sports journalist. While studying this degree, I undertook a variety of volunteer sports journalism roles. One of these lead to a full time role in sports marketing and communications. I never looked back! From here I commenced a Bachelor of Business while working and I loved every day of the work.
What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?
When I was in Year 12, the UAI for entry into a Bachelor of Communication at the University of Newcastle was around 88. I thought I would easily achieve this (I was always aiming high!), but to my dismay, I fell ill with Glandular Fever midway through Year 12. I was unable to study at my full capacity for my trial examinations and was too ill to undertake the HSC so my mark was entirely based on the trials and major works. I achieved a score of 77.65 - I still remember the exact number because I was so devastated that I was unable to perform to the best of my ability. I then commenced a Bachelor of Arts before transferring to Communication the following year.
What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)
The nature of the degrees I studied meant that face to face learning onsite at the University campus was limited. I attended around four hours per course, or 16 hours a week which made it difficult to build friendships with others in the course. However, this was of benefit when studying my later two degrees while working as I had the flexibility to take evening classes, or if these weren't offered, I only needed to make up a few hours at work to attend class.
Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.
The Bachelor of Communication provided me with writing and communication skills that are crucial in marketing roles, but not taught in marketing courses. The Bachelor of Business also benefited me, but I did find that working and on-the-job learning taught me more than my studies. From here I'm aiming to move onto a leadership role in marketing and communications and believe this is possible for anyone with the relevant education, experience and drive.
What do you love the most about your course?
I thrive on learning, the thrill of completing assessments, studying for exams and finding out the hard work paid off at the end of the course. The thing I loved the most was having a lecturer or tutor who put all of their effort into their teaching as this made learning easy and all the more rewarding.
What are the limitations of your course?
I have found that many Communication and Business students struggle to find a job after graduation. I was lucky to have been consistently told by lecturers and tutors during my first degree that if we didn't seek work experience, we wouldn't find a job. From one of my work experience roles came a paid sports journalism role and subsequently, a full time sports marketing role. I was never told this when studying Business, so I can only assume most Business graduates at my university weren't either. I also found the varying degree of teaching abilities to be a limitation, but this is reflective of any workplace!
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.