As a Griffith Film School graduate in the Bachelor of Animation (3D Animation and Character Animation) Stephanie Tomoana balances her time between her work as a professional at Alt.vfx and freelancing in graphic design, illustration and animation. Living by the Walt Disney quote, “the difference between winning and losing is not quitting,” Stephanie credits hard work and persistence as the key to developing a successful career.
Attending University presents challenges, but for many, the end result can be the satisfaction of obtaining the ever elusive ‘dream job’. Our 30 Grads in 30 Days project has illustrated this fact, but the idea is eloquently summed up by midwife Kirsten Penney,
“I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this.”
Kirsten had no idea what to expect when she started University. She began a nursing degree to gain entry into midwifery and was the first in her family to attend University. She also has two children and admits she didn’t really know what Uni would be like.
“I started with the thought ‘even if I fail a few courses, that’s OK, I’ll still finish’. I thought that’s what you did – you didn’t know what you were doing and you just failed,” she said.
As a mum with three kids, Toni Mason always knew she wanted to be a teacher. With the support of her loved ones, Toni graduated in December 2013 with a Bachelor of Education – Primary (Early Childhood Education) and was awarded the Education Medal. Prior to graduation, Toni was in the middle of her prac at Calamvale Community College when she was offered a job teaching Year 1 students.
The Careers team sat down with Toni to find out she’s finding life after uni, juggling a family and teaching commitments and how her career may have taken a different direction if she had accepted her first Griffith University offer.
What made you decide to study teaching?
It was always something I wanted to study but I never got around to it until I was older. I was a parent with kids and being home with kids and knowing you are working school hours allows you to arrange a flexible schedule. I knew I would be able to come and work from home on the things I needed to do. And kids – that’s the other thing. I love teaching kids, they are fun and it’s always a challenge. It’s exciting and never boring. You never go through the same day twice.
Despite losing her sight halfway through her Griffith University degree, giving up was never an option for Samantha Alexander who graduated with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the mid-year graduations today.
The indigenous Sydneysider, who studied her degree online, said the biggest hurdle was learning how to use voice-over speech software.
“When I started university I could still read text books, so not being able to read print was very confronting,”she said.
With the help of Griffith’s Disability Support Services, Sam taught herself how to use voice-recognition and speech software.
“From reading textbooks myself to having to listen to a monotonous voice read the text to me and remember that information was a huge learning curve.”
“It’s an entirely different style of learning.”
Sam has an incurable degenerative eye condition called Cone-rod Dystrophy which affects her peripheral and central vision.
She is legally blind and had to give up her driver’s licence three years ago but has maintained her independence, completing an indigenous cadetship with NSW Corrective Services in 2014.
1994 marked a year of momentous political change in South African history as Nelson Mandela was appointed president, the end of apartheid was celebrated and the country became democratic. Whilst many citizens cheered the dawn of a new era and believed things would get better, there was still enormous uncertainty and danger associated with the future direction of the country. Wayne Beech’s family initially decided to stay in Johannesburg after the first multi-racial election but after his brother was involved in a serious hijacking, they made the tough decision to move to Australia.
After studying marketing in South Africa for two years, Wayne left his family and friends behind to finish his degree at Griffith University. “When I came across here a lot of the subjects I studied at home covered Human Resources and actually got me a large portion of the way to majoring in it. While studying both, I decided I preferred studying Human Resources.”
“I think Griffith courses are at the forefront of tertiary education, as they are consistently dynamic in their offerings.”
It’s no surprise to us that Griffith graduates are thought leaders and innovators in their respective fields – at Griffith Careers, we witness graduates fulfil their career aspirations and create real change in their industries on a daily basis.
This is because many University courses are structured to reflect the increasingly globalised economic and social structures of the world today. Coursework is created with real world applications in mind, giving students the relevant problem solving and critical thinking skills to succeed in the current job market.
It was this innovative approach to learning that led Paul Hodgson to study at Griffith. The multifaceted approach of the international business relations degree laid the foundation for building a highly successful career.
“The Bachelor of International Relations was a bit of everything and it looked really exciting. It looked global, it offered a bit of marketing, accounting, law, economics and Asian languages. It really appealed to me,” he says.
“My progression from high school to today has been interesting to say the least!”
Writing, acting, furniture design, violin, travel and construction.
These diverse passions seem an unlikely combination, but for journalism graduate Kitty Danger, they form the less than traditional path that has led to a fulfilling career in public relations at The Red Republic.
While many high school graduates feel the pressure to careen head first into a chosen career, Kitty took the time to explore her options before settling on a Bachelor of Journalism, specializing in PR and Arts and Creative Industries.
This process of discovery led to Kitty securing a role well suited to her diverse and colorful personality. Working as an Account Manager on a variety of events, social media and publicity campaigns, means she is able to channel her creative side and in her own words “never get bored”.
As one of Griffith’s first dental school graduates and the founding president of the Griffith University Surfers Paradise Rowing Club, David Houston’s career is going from strength to strength overseeing two dental clinics in Brisbane’s North-East suburbs of Redcliffe. Watch as he explains his career journey from Griffith student to entrepreneurial Griffith graduate.
As General Manager – Asia Pacific for EJ, Griffith Commerce graduate Simon Botttomley is passionate about pursuing business excellence with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Simon credits his university experience for delivering him with a skill set and confidence to mix it in the real world of business.
When Carolyn’s sister, Michelle White, looked into doing nursing about 15 years ago and found out it was a degree, she thought it was too scary back then. Michelle’s motivation to study at university was to have a career post family and to be able to work alongside her husband in the primary care industry. Once Carolyn enrolled, her brother in-law told her to convince Michelle and with only a week till cut-off she applied. They were both accepted and the rest was history.
This began a three year journey of sisters doing it for themselves as they navigated university life as mature-age students, managed full-time workloads and undertook nursing placements to put into practice what they learned in lectures.