Sydney’s Talya Levine was driving home from uni one afternoon when she happened to hear a radio ad that became a career game-changer.
The ad was for KickStart, an AustralianSuper competition giving winners the chance to take part in a mentorship program with industry experts.
Talya, a business and events student, submitted a 30-second video about the importance of business partnerships. She impressed the judges with her industry knowledge, not to mention her bubbly enthusiasm, and won a final spot in the partnership category.
Along with 24 other finalists, Talya spent a day at NOVA Entertainment studios being mentored by creative media industry professionals and being inspired by the likes of Guy Sebastian in Behind Nova’s Red Room.
“I was in the second year of my studies, at that time in your uni degree when you know enough about the textbook stuff, but I really wanted to kind of see the jobs and things behind the business, so it was probably perfect timing,” she says.
“I was always seeking out the new opportunities available for myself out there.
“Every day you’re at uni you’re always thinking, ‘What’s my next step?’.”
Being hungry to stand out from the job-seeker crowd, Talya says learning practical tips from industry leaders gave her a winning edge.
“Everybody has a degree on their resume, they’ve got maybe work experience and an internship if they’re lucky, but to have two amazing brands with an amazing experience behind you, really sets you above the rest – definitely,” she says.
Talya now works in her dream job as a sponsorships assistant at NOVA Entertainment. The opportunity came shortly after her mentoring day at Nova, when the company’s head of commercial partnerships and business development Megan Hales, asked the 20-year-old to a job interview.
“I never ever dreamt that after this competition I would get a job out of it,” Talya says.
Thinking outside the square also kick-started Ed Coney’s career. The 32-year-old from Sydney took out the competition’s videography category, netting himself $5000 in prize money.
Ed has used the cash to travel across Europe making travel films.
“Winning meant a lot to me,” he explains.
“It also allowed me to take this trip I’m on at the moment. I’m hoping that I will be able to use this money to invest back into my future career.”
Networking has been a major advantage in forging the early stages of his career.
“It’s always about looking for the next opportunity,” he says.
“I’ve learnt that it’s important to talk about what I’m doing with whoever wants to listen because you never know where the next opportunity will be.”
Ed is now juggling two jobs, but hopes to be working full time in the travel film industry within the next five years.
“My goal is to use my travel films to get more work down the track.”
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