Nicole Johnstone: I graduated in 2012 and went on to study a Bachelor of Journalism/Laws at the University of Wollongong.
Throughout school I was involved with the SRC and was fortunate enough to be elected school captain in 2012. I was also a member of the debating team and took part in a number of public speaking competitions – both of which have helped me significantly! I am currently working as a producer and presenter with Southern Cross Austereo. Within this role, I present TV news updates across Australia. From time to time, I am required to present snow reports for Victoria, and fill-in as a presenter for other markets. In addition to this, I work in the Press Gallery at Parliament House as a researcher for the Australian Financial Review. Prior to this, I worked with Fairfax at the Illawarra Mercury and Grant Broadcasters in radio. Throughout uni, I worked as a communications and project manager in North Sydney. Outside of the media industry, I am a reservist with the Australian Defence Force. Completing my basic military training at Kapooka with the Australian Defence Force was a career highlight. It was an incredibly challenging experience, but one that I have taken a great deal away from. In relation to the media industry, I have had the opportunity to share the incredible stories of people from all over the world as a journalist. Being given the opportunity to speak with a number of refugees and war veterans – and having those stories lead on the front cover of the Illawarra Mercury – is another career highlight. Having been able to find a job which has allowed me to buy two properties in Wollongong is another major highlight – and something I am incredibly proud of. My advice to the young would be to enjoy where you are at in your life, and don’t sweat the small stuff! If you’re unsure about what to do after graduation, try and keep as many options open as possible. every job feeds into another – even if you can’t see it at the time. Also, try and do as much work experience as possible. I interned at Channel Seven, SBS and the ABC before applying for jobs as a journalist. It allowed me to build contacts – and employers always look favourably on people who have made an effort to gain industry experience throughout uni.