When people consider the pathway to a satisfying career they often forget the path itself has many routes.
While it's important to always work towards a goal, what defines itself as the "goal" is a constant evolution. For final year Holmesglen student Kate Withers her introduction into the world of sports media has been an exercise in personal and professional development.
Having originally studied journalism at a higher education level, Kate decided to return to the classroom to gain more practical experience, which would allow her to enter the industry in a confident capacity.
"There was no real practical side of putting theory into work," Kate observes of her past experiences. Now with Holmesglen, she is relishing the direct focus of the curriculum. "Now, I can confidently say that I'm ready to go out into the real world and get a job. This has really prepared me for the field work."
Currently undertaking an internship with AFL Victoria – sourced through Holmesglen – Kate is proactive in her pursuits; helping cover everything from the VFL, TAC Cup and women's leagues. Her writing tasks are appropriately varied and range from human interest stories, game previews and match reports. "You're seeing your work used in the real world," Kate says.
Fundamentally, having a flexible and diverse course structure, which covers essential topics from sports marketing and social media to broadcasting and journalism practice, has allowed Kate to gain insights into the eventual industry she hopes to work within.
"The assessments are actually what we'd be doing as working media professionals," she comments. "The class sizes are smaller [too]; we're exceptionally close with each other and our teachers."
Additionally, Kate (pictured above left) has immersed herself in the Holmesglen experience. Recently, as part of the Sports Media Open Day, she interviewed NBL Media and Communications Manager Stacey Mair, who was a guest speaker. Similarly, Kate has been a significant contributor to student publication, Quarter Times.
Importantly, the practical skill-sets gained have helped dispel some of the anxieties of making the leap into the professional world. What it highlights is with the right knowledge the transition from the classroom to the field is quite fluent.
"A million times I've thought about what it might be like [to work in the industry]. I thought AFL Victoria would be quite intense and fast-paced, which it is, but it's also really relaxed and welcoming, and they're grateful to have us helping them," Kate says.
With her final semester an important focus, Kate is planning for the inevitable move into the workforce. Fittingly, and indicative of these evolving goals, her qualifications now present many opportunities.
"My strength lies in my writing. I do enjoy getting out there and talking to people [though]. Initially I thought I'd like to do some sort of roving reporting or broadcast journalism, now I'm leaning to a more internal communications and media role."