How to float in the right direction

Written by Nicholas Laracy

Some people are fortunate enough to leave high school knowing exactly what they want to do with their life, and the steps that they must take to achieve their goals. Others like myself have a thorough understanding of themselves, what makes them tick, and the skills they possess, but have a thousand ideas of how they’d like to utilise their passion and as a result can’t pin one idea down or get started on the right path.

Often, these people are labelled as ‘floaters’, perceived by others as having no real direction or ambition. Still, in my seventh year of a five-and-a-half-year degree (you do the math…), I am still “floating” and have no clear idea of what I want to do upon graduating, rather I have a plethora of little projects I’d love to work on but don’t know where to start.

While I may be a self-confessed ‘floater’, the most successful decision I have made is choosing to study a Bachelor of Media & Communications, where I have been equipped with a variety of skills that will allow me to build my own future in the industry, whether as part of a wider project or by bringing to fruition one of my own. While learning from attentive, creative people who have first-hand experience in the industry is one of the greatest platforms for success that the course provides, another major aspect of the course is being surrounded by like-minded people who are bubbling with creativity and enthusiasm for the same things. For a ‘floater’, this type of community is imperative to succeeding in the real world and fosters connections that ensure you float in the right direction.

One of the many passions I have is music, playing it, listening to it, and the industry itself. The Media & Communications course even provides a subject called ‘The Media Industry’ which helped to foster this passion and provide insight into how to start a career within the industry. Despite this, one of the greatest benefits I gained from the subject was meeting a fellow class member who would become the bass player in the first band I formed. While the band didn’t last long, the connection and mutual passion for music did, which led to an internship with a recently established music distribution company Gyro stream based in Brisbane. Throughout this internship, I was involved with the pre-release work for a number of nationally recognised artists and learnt a number of niche skills that are prerequisites for jobs in larger record labels such as Warner and Sony Music.

Similarly, since a young age I’ve always had an interest in advertising and often looked for opportunities to experience the industry to decide whether it is something I could pursue. After forming groups for a piece of assessment in a subject in the earlier stage of my degree, the group I was part of decided to grab a coffee with each other after class. Here I learnt that one of the other members worked within the sales team for Channel 7’s advertising department, and after forming a friendship she notified me 6 months later when a position became available in the office. While I discovered that advertising sales didn’t fully cater to my desires, I learnt invaluable skills which could be applied across a number of industries, and built a network of people who I am certain will contribute to any opportunities or success I have in future endeavours.

Essentially, what I have learnt in the ample time I have provided myself since starting a university degree, is that there are two components of a Media & Communications degree which must be given equal respect. Firstly, the content and advice that is given provides you with the knowledge and ability to do whatever your heart desires. Secondly, making a conscious effort to meet new people will ensure that even if you are floating, you will fall into the right places and one day will have a portfolio of work and experience that will get you to the right destination.  

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