By Eloise Barclay

This week on Where are they now? I chat with Kate Middleton, a graduate from QUT’s Bachelor of Business (majoring in marketing) and Creative Industries. Check out our interview below to gain a glimpse of life after university and what it’s like being an on-air journalist and newsreader!

What degree did you study at QUT?

I did a double degree in Business (Marketing major) and Creative Industries (Media and Communications major).

Where have you worked since graduating and what is your current role?

Since university I have helped out a free-lancer who did digital copywriting for small businesses until I found full time employment. I am now a marketing and ecommerce officer for an active wear brand called Active Truth.

How did you get your current job?

To be honest I was really lucky. In my last semester of university I did my Work Integrated Learning at Bauer Media. My boss Judy was lovely and was like a mentor to me. When the internship finished she told me, ‘if I had a job I’d give it to you.’ Obviously that broke my heart a little bit but I think she meant what she said. She met my current bosses and found out they were looking for someone and recommended me and gave them a copy of my resume that she had saved down on her computer and the rest is history.

What elements of your degree have you used in your career?

A lot. I feel like everything I have learnt I have been able to apply in some way to my job or previous jobs/work experience.

What are you loving about your job?

I love working for a small company. I have worked for really big businesses and I feel like as a grad or someone just starting it can be really easy to get lost. Working where I work, every idea I have is valid and heard. I get a lot more involvement then what I would have in a larger company and it means I’m learning and advancing my skill set at a rapid pace. Plus, no two days are the same. I love the culture (I get to wear active wear to work!!!!) and what the company does, so it makes my job enjoyable and easy.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve had lots of highlights, I think even little wins are so important! I used to work for a massive shopping centre and got to lead a marketing campaign. It ended up being the most successful campaign in terms of traffic and sales in years, so that was a pretty special moment.

What are your goals for the future?

I think to focus on learning, growing and improving myself. Also not to be stagnant and to be happy at work. I’ve learnt the hard way about what it’s like to work in a toxic environment and I’m really happy that I learnt that lesson early on in my career. It’s allowed me to reassess what’s actually important when it comes to your job and career and it’s helped me redefine my goals.

How do you maintain a work life balance?

I don’t think I’ve ever met one person who is truly 100% balanced. I think it’s a myth. I focus on my happiness instead because if we are always striving for balance (which is unachievable in my opinion) then we will never get it and that will result in our unhappiness. However, I do make time for things that make me happy. I like to walk my dog every day and exercise at least 3 days a week. I do not have work emails on my phone which enables me to switch off and make time for Netflix. I also actively make plans to see at least one friend a week. If it doesn’t make me happy then I’ve learnt to say no to it. Obviously there are times when you can’t do everything but there’s no point in beating yourself up about it. Just try to improve next week.

Do you have any tips for current students who want to get into the industry?

It’s a really, really hard job market. I’ve got friends who were high achieving students and graduated with me in December and they are still unemployed. Get as much work experience and diverse experience as possible. I think I did nine different internships while I was at Uni and they all helped. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for work experience because everyone was a broke student trying to get a job once in their life. People really appreciate it when you toughen up and ask, so if people can help you they probably will. ‘Network’ and make valuable connections at any work experience opportunity. Brisbane is too small to burn your bridges. It is important to know your self-worth and recognise when something is not good and don’t be afraid to walk if it’s not right. Life is too short.

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