By Shannon Bullen
I caught up QUT alumni Brendan Modini this week, who graduated with a Bachelor of Media and Communication (with a Distinction) and a Bachelor of Public Health in 2017. Read on for Brendan’s rad advice on speaking up when starting out and creating your own opportunities in the workplace.
What have you been up to since graduating- where are you currently working?
I have been working for youfoodz for the past 9 months as a Customer Service Guru specialising in social media engagement.
How did you score this position?
Through uni connections – when I worked on Straddl, one of my team members had a friend who worked at youfoodz. They were looking for uni grads to join the team. Within 2 hours of my details being passed on, I had a phone interview. After a face-to-face interview 2 days later, I walked out with the job.
What are your key responsibilities in your current role?
The role involves responding to enquiries through direct message and email, replying to public comments on Facebook and recently, writing copy for our blog. I’ve actually just completed my first interview that’s going to be an educational piece.
Sounds interesting! Tell me more?
I’m going to be writing about the special features of the youfoodz container which we’ve designed ourselves. The article will first be published internally for staff education, then if the response is good, it will be published externally on the youfoodz website.
Do you decide what to write about?
Yes, but not everyone that works in the customer service team works on writing projects. I contacted the Marketing and Creative teams, and told them about myself and that I was interested in writing. From there, I had to show them examples of my writing from my university portfolio, including work from Straddl.
So, this was an opportunity you created for yourself?
Yes. I’m also now training new employees, in particular about the voice of the brand. What we say on the phone is different to how we communicate via email and webchat for example. I like to get amongst it! I also was recently part of a recruitment campaign where I was featured in a photoshoot to advertise careers at youfoodz. This was a great learning experience to understand how marketing and branding works and the amount of planning required in translating an inspiration board to the perfect shot.
So apart from the modelling opportunities, what do you like about working for youfoodz?
Our brand is quite unique. We have a fun and playful vibe. We like to push boundaries, for example, some of our recent ads are a bit cheeky! I love the company culture.
What skills from your Media/Communications degree have been useful on the job?
Digital writing, such as how to write a blog post, and understanding current digital trends. Attention spans are quite short in our demographic so content needs to be really engaging but concise. Also, having this degree sets me apart from the other customer service agents in that it is easy for me to adopt the voice and tone of the company for each media channel we use.
“Your first role out of uni may not be what you first thought. Look for opportunities or create them yourself.”
What advice do you have for students?
Make it known to your employer from the start which direction you’d like to head in. I made it clear initially that I would like to work for the Marketing and Creative teams and that’s what I am working towards. I thought I’d walk into a digital marketing role straight out of uni, but your first role may not be what you first thought. Look for opportunities or create them yourself. It’s all about connections and networking, putting yourself out there, being self-motivated, knowing what you want and working for it.
Fork yes, Brendan!