After a gap year overseas, travelling to Sydney a couple of days a week to attend college was a non-issue for Newcastle-based student Jessica Smith.
“I saw Macleay at a careers expo in Year 11 and basically it was like ‘You can get your course done in two years instead of three’ and that was really appealing. It sounded ideal, especially with the small classes and everything. I sort of had that in my head going through year 12. ‘I’ll go to Macleay, I’ll get the early entry offer'."
Jessica Smith (third from the left) on campus.
Fast forward to 2020, and the former Belmont Christian College student has just topped the Dean’s List for the Bachelor of Business (Public Relations) degree. This comes as no surprise to Jessica's lecturers.
“Jessica has been a stand-out student since day one. She has a keen interest in knowing how to apply the theory and skills she learns to real-life work environments, plus using her creativity to develop insightful campaigns and content," says Amy Miller, Macleay’s public relations lecturer.
Working on brand image and digital marketing really developed Jessica’s interest in a digital media career. “I really enjoyed the Digital Business Communications subject in my business degree. We looked at everything from email marketing, social media marketing and SEO to blog writing, video production and websites. The whole way through the subject, we were creating content for specific businesses and developing our portfolios. I did some content for a hypothetical ‘nanny service’ and I got really invested in it.”
Jessica is building on the skills she’s learning at Macleay with an internship at a Newcastle marketing consultancy La La Social Club. Under the guidance of business owner Laura Higgins, Jessica gets hands-on experience in all aspects of content marketing with brands such as Orton Haus and She’s on the Money.
“My internship has given me some amazing opportunities,” says Jessica. “I get to work on real projects and receive one-to-one mentoring. I really love it.”
Jessica Smith (left) interning with business owner Laura Higgins at La La Social Club
Set to graduate in 2022, the 19-year-old is already considering her next career move. “I am specialising in content writing and I would love a content role in a not-for-profit. My dream job would be with Compassion Australia, an organisation working with communities in developing countries through very personal child sponsorship programs. I’d love to write blogs, help them with their social media and digital marketing. I did work experience with them in Year 10. I think that really sparked my interest.”
In the meantime, though, Jessica has a few more subjects to complete and is looking forward to returning to face-to-face classes in 2021. “The online learning was better than I expected and having a small class size really helped. I have to admit thought, that I am looking forward to going back on campus and catching up with my friends in the classroom next year,”
Interested in a Bachelor of Digital Media or Diploma of Digital Media program? Macleay is now accepting early offer applications for 2021. Apply online now to secure your place or contact us for more information.