As I commenced my final year of study in my Bachelor’s degree in Business (Advertising) and Fine Art (Interactive and Visual Design), I knew it was time to get serious about my career. The Brisbane Advertising Association Scholarship really appealed to me as part of the scholarship involved a mentoring program with a range of advertising professionals and I was yet to gain industry experience. Applying for the scholarship was one of the best decisions I made in my final year at QUT; the knowledge and industry contacts I gained from the experience proved to be invaluable and thoroughly prepared me for the transition from university to my career. The application process was similar to applying for a job, I provided a cover letter and resume as well as written and video responses to personal and analytical questions and this was then followed up with an interview. If you are considering applying, go ahead and give it a shot, you have nothing to lose and the application process is great preparation for applying and interviewing for jobs.
When I was awarded the scholarship I was allocated a BAA committee member as my mentor. Sharon Twomey is the Brisbane Sales Director at WIN Television Sales and is a well-respected and highly experienced professional in the media industry. Throughout the year, Sharon and I would meet to discuss the progression of my mentoring program, as well as cover important professional development topics such as emotional intelligence and workplace culture. As well as this, I completed mentorship placements throughout the year at several different organizations including media (Ikon Communications) and creative/digital agencies (Klyp), sales (Nine Network) and client-side operations (Brisbane Airport Parking). The idea was to gain an understanding of the roles of different types of organisations in the broader media industry. As well as this, I was able to understand the organisational structure of different types of businesses and meet with people from a variety of positions and discuss their responsibilities. The advertising industry can be complex, and having a holistic understanding of the industry and the roles within it is really beneficial when trying to envision where your own personality and skills may fit in. In addition to the mentoring program, I also attended BAA networking events and assisted with their biggest event of the year – the BAA Xmas Lunch. This allowed me to not only meet the committee but also connect with many other industry professionals and become actively involved in the wider media industry.
The BAA Scholarship not only provided me with practical knowledge and skills, which would ultimately help me in my career but also a wonderful support network of industry professionals that helped me through my degree and remain part of my professional network today. As a graduate, it can be quite difficult to get a job – especially when you are up against applicants that may have a few more years’ experience than you. The BAA scholarship helped me secure my current position as a Digital Designer in the marketing team at Metagenics, as it showed recruiters something that can’t be matched by experience – that I am a willing learner and that I am genuinely passionate about the industry I’m in. Thank you again to QUT and the BAA for this opportunity, the insights and industry experience I gained proved to be invaluable.