Meet Charlotte - Macleay Alum & Success Story

Meet Charlotte Hansen. She studied a Bachelor of Advertising & Media and is now working for a well-known advertising agency, Media Merchants

Russel Lewis, Macleay's International Student Services Support Officer caught up with Charlotte to learn a little bit more about her, how different Australia is from her native Norway, and what she's up to now. 



Charlotte Hansen, Norway native now calls Sydney home. 


Given name? Charlotte Hansen moved to Sydney in 2016 and hasn't looked back since. She completed a Bachelor of Advertising & Media at Macleay College and is now working as a Junior Digital Producer with Media Merchants in their Sydney office. 


Tell me about your hometown.

I’m from Bodø, a small city in northern Norway with just above 50 thousand inhabitants. It’s north of the polar circle which means we often see northern lights. The city also has weeks during summer where the sun never sets and we get the pleasure of experiencing the beautiful midnight sun. However, this means there are also weeks during winter where we never see the sun.




What’s the best thing about living in Australia?

The weather for sure! After growing up in a country known for snow and cold temperatures, having long summers and hot days during winter is a definite plus. And of course the laidback beach lifestyle!


What do you miss most about home?

My friends and family. I go back to visit whenever I’ve got the chance, and I’ve had both family and friends visit me many times through the years which is nice - it’s not only me who has to travel the long distance.


What was the inspiration for choosing your course?

I knew that I wanted to study something that had to do with Advertising, as I did a course called “Media and Communication” for two years during High School, and the Advertising industry caught my attention. With this new interest in mind and knowing that I was moving to Australia, I started looking for advertising courses. I also knew that it had to be a Bachelor's degree or higher when studying overseas in order to get fee-help from Norway.

Macleay didn’t have a Bachelor of Advertising & Media yet at the time I was looking, but they had a Diploma of Advertising & Media which seemed interesting. I contacted Macleay asking if they had a similar course to a Bachelor's degree, and turns out they were in the process of starting one. I moved to Sydney and worked until Macleay started running the Bachelor of Advertising & Media, and then started studying as the first Norwegian student at Macleay.

Macleay College wasn’t on the list of universities approved by the Norwegian fee-help, yet I really wanted to study at Macleay due to the intensive trimesters where you’re able to complete a full bachelor's degree in only two years. I researched how a university/college could be applicable for Norwegian fee-help, and sent through necessary documentation with help from Macleay. They ended up approving Macleay’s bachelor's degree as an eligible school/course for fee-help in Norway. This literally put Macleay on the map as it’s now listed on the Norwegian loan/fee help’s website of approved overseas universities/colleges.


What is one difference between education in your home country and education in Australia?

The only difference is the language! Teaching quality & methods are quite similar in both countries.


What was your experience at Macleay like as a whole?

I was quite nervous before starting as I thought doing a full bachelor's degree in a different language would be a challenge. This turned out to be completely fine. I was never close to failing a subject, and I would say; having to present my projects helped with improving my spoken English a lot.

During my time at Macleay, I had an internship at both the projects* and Nectar & Co. I learnt a lot from both internships and they helped me prepare for my first full-time job.

One of my best memories, not related to social events, would be when my group won Best Pitch at the end of “The Pitch” subject. We worked hard for the presentation and concept for many weeks, so it was nice to have a good outcome. I also received a faculty award for “Best Portfolio” and “Best Digital Photography” that day, so all in all a great ending to my time at Macleay. 


In what way have you used/ do you want to use your degree in the future? 

I’m already using it! I’m working within a digital team at Media Merchants in Sydney as a Junior Digital Producer. I got the job at Media Merchants only 1 month after completing my bachelor's degree in May 2019.



Charlotte on a work trip to Surfers Paradise/Gold Coast with Media Merchants - the Sydney office and Brisbane office meet up once a year for social activities.
How do the skills you developed and learnt at Macleay help you now in your job?
Macleay taught me how to think strategically and I learnt the whole process of advertising campaigns from start to finish, and how it translates to different platforms. Marketing terms and different responsibilities has also ended up being important information to know. 

Who were your teachers at Macleay and which of them made the most impact on your time studying? 

I had many teachers for many subjects throughout my time at Macleay, but I would say Glen Fraser made the most impact, as he gives his students a realistic view of the industry and doesn't sugarcoat anything. It has made it easier for me to go into a full-time job with realistic expectations. 


Where do you see yourself in next 5 years? 

I’m very happy with where I’m at now and don’t like to plan too far ahead. My ideal job changed many times through my time at Macleay, so I’ve learnt to take things as it comes and grab any opportunity which seems interesting. I never even considered working within digital marketing, even though I’ve always been tech savvy and had a keen interest in anything digital. It makes so much sense to me now and I think it’s something I will be doing for many years to come.



 Charlotte loves Australia's long summers and warm winter days.


What is the best piece of advice you received during your time at Macleay?

At my first internship whilst studying at Macleay, I got great advice on how to make my portfolio stand out from the crowd. They told me to make my portfolio online instead of a document or pdf, and to keep it simple and clean. Don't add in everything you've ever done, quality is better than quantity. Only add your work that you're happy with and that you want to work with in the future. The type of work and projects you include in your portfolio is most likely what you will be asked to do at your job.


If you could give any student who's considering studying Advertising and Media a piece of advice, what would you tell them?

My advice is to go for it! You won't be bored and there's a large range of career paths you can take once done. 


If you were to describe Australia to someone who's never been, what five words would you use? 

A country worth a visit!
To see more of Charlotte's work, have a look at her portfolio here

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