Where are you now and how did you get there?
I’m the marketing and communications manager for Scarf, a social enterprise which borrows restaurants to provide hospitality training to marginalised young people. I co-founded the organisation in 2010 with my friend Jess.
While I was completing my Bachelor degree in 2009, I was also volunteering with a couple of organisations and meeting young people who were facing barriers to work. I’ve worked in hospitality since finishing high school and Jess and I met while working in a restaurant. We were both passionate about seeing more diverse hiring practices in the industry. So we created Scarf with the aim to provide opportunities to young people wanting to get a foot in the door with hospitality. We naturally fell into our roles at Scarf based on what we were good at, which has worked out pretty well! We actually had a bunch of final year Swinburne Multimedia students create our website for us in 2010, which is still going strong after two years.
I’m also a freelance writer, doing bits and pieces of copywriting and journalism.
Why did you choose to study Media?
I started the degree because I was interested in how the media worked, and I love writing. I liked the idea of doing subjects like creative writing and journalism and creating stuff in video and radio subjects.
Before you started your degree, what did you think you would like to do? Have you achieved or changed this goal?
I really didn’t know. In my final year, when I was undertaking my projects, I had sort of started to figure it out. For my media project I chose to create a writing folio, which featured a bunch of articles for various websites. My goal with the project was to be published in print and I achieved that by getting an article published in The Big Issue. My multimedia project was creating, as part of a team, a website for a community organisation. The goal there was to get a better understanding of usability and communications relating to not-for-profit organisations, which I think I definitely achieved.
What is the best aspect of your job?
It’s too difficult to name one! It’s great to be part of the journey of a young person who is transitioning from not being able to find work, to having the confidence and skills to get the job they want.
But it’s also awesome to be part of a small team and bring so much to it. My job at Scarf sees me utilising so many skills I learned in my degree – writing copy, writing press releases, seeking media opportunities, using social media effectively, editing graphics and photos, producing video, maintaining a website… I’m able to use all these skills to cultivate community so that our organisation can thrive and grow as we achieve our goals and that’s pretty cool.
What advice would you give to current students?
Use your degree to find out what you’re good at and what you like doing. When you can, choose projects based on your passions. Hopefully then you’ll not only enjoy them, but also be more inclined to put heaps of effort in, and get great marks to boot. And show up to your classes – that’s the best way to learn stuff!
Anything else you would like to add?
Keep an open mind when it comes to jobs. The media landscape is constantly evolving which might seem a bit daunting but there are still lots of options.
There are a also a whole bunch of start-up social enterprises tackling social issues, with plenty of volunteer opportunities to build your skills and your profile which can often lead to paid work.