Alexandra Hobbs is a QUT alumni who graduated in 2015 with a dual degree of Business and Creative Industries. She has gone on to start her career in the media and communication industry working in a fast paced environment that has put her skill set into action. We caught up with Alexandra and got the lowdown on a few questions we were curious about. Check out her answers below.
What is your current role in the media and communication industry?
I currently work at MediaCom Brisbane as an Implementation, Planning and Investment Coordinator.
What is your favourite part about your job?
I really enjoy deconstructing a client brief and from there using our tools to run demographic and media consumption data. Then I can apply these results to the variety of media channels and options to give the client the best solutions for their campaign.
What is your least favourite part about your role?
Sadly, a lot of what I do on a daily basis is to check numbers and dates etc. to ensure accuracy of billing and appearance for clients. When this is incorrect it results in invoicing, credits and account queries that are not fun at all.
How did you get this position?
While I was studying at QUT I was also interning. At the time this was for PPR, which is a part of the Y&R Group where I work right now. I was very lucky to then gain contract work at PPR and nearing the end of my degree people in the office (consisting of 6 agencies) were approaching me about my career projection. So from inside knowledge I knew MediaCom had full time entry positions and the rest is history.
Is your job how you expected it to be when you first agreed to take the position?
For the most part, yes. In my interview it was quite clear that a lot of my job would be on excel and not writing like I had been trained in PR. I think the only part I didn’t expect was the extreme high volume of requests and amount of work daily, alongside with the stress levels that I had to quickly learn how to manage.
What course did you study while at QUT? Do you think this job directly relates to your degree/s?
I did a double degree of Business and Creative Industries – Majoring in Public Relations and Entertainment. Most people would assume that this does not directly relate to my current role, as it is much more number orientated. However, aspects are very similar. For instance, PR taught me how to review a campaign or issue and identify the key interests for a client. Similarly, pitching was key in my studies at university and still is now. I believe everything can be transferable.
How do you think university classes prepared, or failed to prepare you, for scoring a job in your desired industry?
I do think that the internships and capstone units were particularly useful in preparing me for a real industry job. However, some theory learnt was flagged as already out of date in the industry, and isn’t even used at all in media as we have our own tools.
How did you prepare yourself for entering the workforce? For example, did you undertake internships, attend networking events or joined uni clubs?
I did all of the above! I interned at least once a year including my very first year, volunteered at events and festivals, went to balls, joined QUT Cheer and Dance. I don’t believe you can have too many connections – that’s how I got my current job.
What advice would you want to give yourself if you were still at uni?
To worry less about the nitty gritty of a theory and look at the big picture and to make friends in all industries/study areas.
What do you think students in their final year of uni should do to prepare themselves for entering the workforce?
I can’t recommend enough applying early for jobs even before you graduate, as well as interning and volunteering.
How did you find transitioning from full time study to full time work?
I didn’t find it that exhausting, as I know a few of our new comers have. I enjoy being busy and found the routine hours were actually easy and manageable. Making sure you fit your work environment/culture was the “hardest” part.
What do you find the most interesting about the media and communication industry? Or what about this industry excites you the most?
The media industry is always evolving – our suppliers always have new products we can offer or a new brief opens up possibilities. As I said before, I love learning about how people consume media in general and just know this will be an ever growing industry to move around in.
By Amanda Earl