Interview with Journalism Graduate Kate Lavrencic

By Darlyna Hong

For recent graduates, entering the media and communications industry can be exciting, yet intimidating. The workplace environment is drastically different from our university experiences, but the responsibilities and skills we learn from group assignments, deadlines, researching, and even coffee consumption, all contribute to the life in this industry. The Journalism and Media and Communications industry are closely related in the way that media, writing, and communicating are relevant to both industries and studies. Kate Lavrencic, a recent QUT Journalism graduate, was fortunate enough to enter the workforce very soon after finishing her degree and speaks about her Media and Communications experience.

Where do you work and what is your role?

I work for the state government and I work for the Media and Supports Project Officer.

What does your job entail? And how did you find it?

I support the media and communications team at work. I found it on the internet and I was actually applying for another job that was a bit more advanced; I was going for a senior communications role. I decided to go for it because I decided I had nothing to lose and they ended up calling me back; I called the manager of media and we had a conversation to see if I was even eligible to go for the role and she said “go for it”. Didn’t get that one, but she ended up offering me another job.

What interested you in that role?

I’m a journalism student, and I really liked media and I wanted to see the advisor side because as a journalist you have to work with media advisors so I wanted to see the other side of it and it’s given me a lot of insight into the industry.

How do you find your degree relating to the role?

Obviously writing skills are a massive part of my job so I do a lot of writing. I also have to do a lot of speaking and interviewing, and I have to do a lot of phone calls and stakeholder engagements. Building relations and networking is a really good skill that I use often too.

Is it what you expected in the workplace?

I think it’s more than I expected. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career. I’ve got a really good workplace and some really good colleagues too, so I couldn’t be happier.

Why do you think the use of digital media or social media is important for what you do?

Digital media is really important for getting messages out in a very short amount of time to a lot of people. I work in social media as well and I help run the social media page for the organisation. Part of our job means getting weather warnings out to people and helping them prepare and that’s really important to engage people so that they’re aware of what’s happening.

What is a typical day for you?

There is no typical day – it’s different everyday which is how I like it. I’ll come in in the morning and I’ll sort out my day. I usually work with projects and things so I’ll have to kind of follow a timeline and try to meet those deadlines. I’ll talk to people and I’ll post some things on social media.

What advice would you give to future media and communications students?

Go for whatever pops up, even if you think you’re not suitable for it; you never know what’s going to come out of it. Also talk to people – people want to help you out so make the phone call!

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