What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am almost certain every one of us has been asked this at some point in our lives. Your five-year-old self wanted to be a teacher, now eighteen you are second guessing your childhood dream. There is a huge pressure in today’s society for young school leavers to know exactly what career they want to jump into. Next thing you know you are now enrolled into a Bachelor of Education, in the hopes that you grow to love it – I myself am a victim to this.
It is found that one in five first-year university students leave their chosen course to pursue something else. The University of Auckland has just been granted a policy for one year of fees-free for students new to tertiary education, to give students a chance to see where their passions lie – we hope that Australia follows suit.
More than half of the Circus team have either swapped their course sometime in their studies or previously had no idea of what they wanted to do.
We speak with some of the team to discuss how they got to where they are today and the pathways that got them to be a part of the Circus Media team!
Bree – Creative Director (Bachelor of Arts, Media & Communication)
I started my studies at Deakin University in Primary Teaching, I had always wanted to work with children and loved the idea of teaching. I have always been a very creative person, as a kid I was always drawing, creating and painting. It was my passion and my hobby. As I became an adult this passion grew stronger, I was painting more, doing photography and had a keen interest in design. After a year of studying Primary Teaching I decided on switching my course to a Bachelor of Arts Media and Communication. Although this wasn’t your standard Graphic Design course it had many pathways to different jobs. Through this course I was able to study graphic design, photography and art – my three passions. This course also included marketing/media/communication which all helped me develop into a Graphic Designer. The diversity of the course allowed me to learn a lot of skills that I could pull together and use in my working life. It was certainly a great decision to change course/career path as I now work doing what I am most passionate about.
Emily – Senior Account Manager (Bachelor of Arts, double major Public Relations, Media & Communication)
I went to Deakin University and although I never swapped courses, at no time in High School except for Year 12 I once saw myself, or even thought about going to Uni. My ‘changing course’ moment came from a meeting in Year 11 when my at-the-time Coordinator thought it would be best I went into VCAL for Year 12. My Mum was in the meeting too and understandably furious, she knew I could handle Year 12 and had the capabilities to do really well, I was just more interested in partying, socialising and netball at that time in my life. After that meeting, and a big kick up the butt from my elder siblings, in Year 12 I did a total 360. I studied really hard and was nominated for an award in managing academics and sport, I was then accepted into my chosen course and four years later I am about to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts – double major in PR & Media Communications, all of which I did online whilst working full time and playing high-level netball. I’m now 22 and in a senior managerial role at Circus Media… Say what!
Carly – Owner & PR Director (Bachelor of Arts, double major Public Relations, Media & Communication)
Trying to choose a degree at 18 and just out of high school is a big ask, I know people who are in their 30s and 40s and still have no clue what they want to do! I also know a lot of people – myself included – who think they know, but as soon as they get to university they find the course (or job or industry) was not what they expected, or they discover something that had not previously known about. I left high school thinking I wanted to be a journalist but deferred after just one semester as I found the journalism subjects were really restrictive on my type of writing. This was compounded by the fact that I was travelling to Berwick five days a week because, as a smaller campus, there was no option to condense my contact hours into less days, and the three-hour round trip (depending on traffic it could be more) meant I struggled to find the time to work to pay for petrol and E-Tag costs, especially when I didn’t want to give up my weekends that were dedicated to my sport. I became disillusioned and deferred but since I really loved school, I felt I owed it to myself to complete a degree. I then enrolled in a general Arts degree at Deakin which offered much more flexible study options, including ‘off campus’ which meant I could study in my own time and work concurrently. I think this is one of the most valuable things that has gotten me to where I am today – I was able to put my studies straight into practice and obtain experience, I was never a ‘poor’ uni student and I was in a management position before I even finished my degree.
I also fell into PR; I didn’t even know it was a thing until I was looking for a specialisation and one of my teachers told me it was a natural fit for my personality, my writing and my ability to talk my way out of anything and “sell ice to the Eskimos”. I think that PR, marketing and business are a fundamental part of pretty much anything and that making these type of subjects mandatory in the early part of any degree would put all students in really good stead, especially if they decided to change courses after a time – then it wouldn’t be a total waste!
Izzy – Project Assistant (currently undertaking Bachelor Design, Visual Communication)
After completing VCE in 2015 I thought I wanted to be a nurse so I began to study Health Science at Deakin the following year. Soon into the course I realised that the health sector just wasn’t for me and I had somewhat of a passion for marketing, so I chose to transfer from Health Science to Commerce in 2017, majoring in marketing.
I loved the marketing and consumer behaviour aspect of commerce and didn’t mind the numbers but after working with a company doing bits and pieces of product design and social media management I realised my true passion was in design. Last year I undertook a short course on Photoshop at the Gordon to learn a bit more about design, this is where I met Carly. I asked her if there was any chance I could do some work experience to ensure I was confident in my choice to change courses.
Being at Circus Media allowed me to know exactly what I wanted to do and the career path I want to take once I finish my degree. This year, I am beginning a brand-new course at Deakin – Bachelor Design (Visual Communication), and now working with Circus Media two days a week as a Project Assistant, all of which I am extremely excited about!
Taylar – Project Assistant (Bachelor of Arts, Public Relations)
I grew up in the country and come from a family of farmers. Finishing school at eighteen years old I thought my only options were to move hours away to university or farm life. I moved six hours away to Geelong and started studying health science at Deakin to potentially cross over into psychology. Halfway through my second year I quit and literally immediately got on a plane and spent a few weeks in Vietnam. I came back to Geelong and got a full-time admin job, during this time I decided to go back to university and studied Public Relations, based on my skill strengths which I discovered throughout those few months of working.
Changing course may set you back initially, but in the long run it is worth pursuing something you are passionate about, taking time to figure out what you are good at and what you will ultimately love doing; it is your life at the end of the day. Life isn’t a race and sometimes we need to be reminded of this.
+Public Relations Intern, Holly Bealham.