Think outside your degree with Chelsea Rees

Media and Comms Manager, Ipswich Hospital Foundation

QUT graduate, Chelsea Rees gives insight into the benefits of thinking outside your degree norms.

Have you thought outside the box when looking for a job in Media and Communications?

That’s what young professional Chelsea Rees did when graduating.

Chelsea is now the head of Media and Communication at Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) and Editor in Chief for Healthy Living Ipswich Magazine.

Chelsea studied a bachelor of communications at the University of Queensland and graduated in 2012 with a major in Public Relations and Culture.

Once leaving university Chelsea scored her first job in a, you guessed it, it’s not what you know but who you know scenario.

“My then Director was in need of a temporary fill for the Communications Officer position and fortunately a friend working suggested I might be interested as a keen soon-to-graduate student”

“She called me in for a conversation and we organised my start date for the next week. It was an invaluable experience and a look into Government work that I’ve been grateful for ever since”.

“I loved working inside a hospital, interacting with patients on sad and joyous occasions really taught me a lot about communicating”.

Following the finish of a temporary position, Chelsea was contacted by the CEO of IHF at the time and asked her to come over to IHF to create a communications role for the organisation.

The requirements of a Media and Communication’s Manager at IHF draw a close comparison to skills Chelsea learnt in her degree at University.

“I am eternally grateful for having studied Communications in Culture especially as I often tap into these skills when communicating about health” she said.

Chelsea has always had a strong passion for health so she wasn’t surprised when she landed in a health related PR role.  Although, at University she was intrigued by guest speakers from Public Relations firms around Brisbane and had imagined herself striving for a position at one of those.

“My favourite part of this job is the variety. I could be chaperoning La La Loopsy and a journalist around the children’s ward, crafting a media response about IHF’s car parks or interviewing a scientist from the Qld Brain Institute” she said.

“A typical day varies from managing our social media, sourcing and writing content for Healthy Living Ipswich Magazine and communicating through our dedicated CRM”.

Her top tips for students graduating is to take every opportunity to gain experience that comes your way and if nothing comes along, make it up! If your friend has a cake business, write her a killer media plan and take over the baking world through her facebook page – you get the gist.

Don’t feel limited to your degree, think outside your degree and do what you live and are passionate about.

“The media and communication industry is always keeping me guessing. There is so much to be learnt to stay relevant in the industry”.

By Brendan Modini

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