“Chase your passion and the money will come”
Griffith graduate Chelsea McGuiness is a shining example of how pursuing the activities you are most passionate about can lead to a successful and fulfilling career later in life.
For Chelsea, coding was always a hobby. It was only during her gap year working as a reservationist in luxury transport did she realize it could become a long term career.
“My boss said ‘I want to change this on the website but I don’t want to get the guys to do it’, so I said ‘I’ll have a look at it’ and from there, I thought ‘maybe I should see what Uni offers in this area’ and that’s how I got into multimedia,” she says.
It’s a thread often repeated by fresh high school graduates who just don’t know what to do with their lives. Who does at 17? Evaluating the activities that make you happy is certainly a great place to start.
Studying in a field she really loved led to great success in her degree.
This was true for Chelsea. Studying in a field she really loved led to great success in her degree. Her most notable achievement was winning the Opmantek Award, State iAward and Greatest Team Support Award for the development of the Kidz@GCU Hospital mobile app.
The app was developed by Griffith students for the department of Community Child Health for QLD Health and was designed to assist children with Autism spectrum disorders navigate the new Gold Coast University hospital.
“It was my number one priority through that semester so I put a lot of effort into it. We were all really passionate about it. We all thought it was a great thing we were doing.”
“We formed a group and we came up with the idea to create an educational application. We all wanted to create something that could help somebody,” she says.
Chelsea acknowledges the skills she picked up throughout her University studies have prepared her for life in the real world and says she is using all the design programs she learned in her degree.
She is now working in a job she loves as a front end developer for Bar-Tech Automations and Open BMCS.
It was her dedication to honing her skills and committing herself to freelance work that kept her ahead of the pack and saw her land a full time position.
“The freelance work helped. I didn’t have the relative experience but I had projects to show and I think that helped me out a lot,” she says.
“The job that you don’t get is a step closer to the one that you do get”.
Chelsea undertook five interviews before securing the graduate role she now has. She was actively looking for employment throughout this time and pursuing freelance opportunities, to keep the code ‘fresh in her mind’.
She said landing her job after the string of interviews was a big relief.
“If I compare the interview for my current job to the first one, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve become a lot more confident and better at answering questions,” she says.
“When you go for the interview and you don’t get the job, you keep going. The next one could be it. The job that you don’t get is a step closer to the one that you do get. If anyone tries to discourage you and says you should look at different career paths, just ignore them if you’re 100% passionate about what you do.”
Top tips from Chelsea
- If anyone tries to discourage you… just ignore them if you’re 100% passionate about what you do.
- When you go for the interview and you don’t get the job, you keep going.
- Do as many projects as you can so you have examples of your work.