Holly Moody and Ashleigh Chapple might have shared different journeys, but both led them to their dream careers — Macleay College is the reason for their success.
One company, four roles — all powered by an education at Macleay College. From a Public Relations Assistant to a Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, then to Events Executive and Customer Relations Management Manager — all within the span of close to five years — Holly Moody has done it all at Swarovski.
Moody’s childhood ambition was to become a journalist or TV presenter. She even went to journalism school, but it wasn’t long before she realised it wasn’t for her. A move to Sydney led her to discover Macleay College — “a really hands-on college” that she just knew she would thrive in, located in Surry Hills, Sydney’s answer to London’s Notting Hill — and its Diploma of Business Management (Public Relations) programme. “To this day I still don’t know why I had the sudden desire to change but I truly believe it was the best decision I have ever made as it allowed me to land my dream job,” Moody shares.
It’s a move that has paid off grandly. Shortly after finishing one of her classes, Moody found a job advertisement on employment marketplace Seek for a part-time PR assistant role at Swarovski. Moody felt it was the perfect fit as she would be working at a brand she admired and with hours that suited her flexible programme structure. Before she knew it, she was accepted for the role. “I think the reputation of Macleay has definitely contributed to myself being shortlisted as a candidate for the PR Assistant position, but I also think it comes down to having ambition, putting yourself out there and being willing to take a risk even if you’re not sure it will pay off,” she explains.
Moody’s career trajectory has been nothing short of impressive since. She credits this to her Macleay College experience. “From writing PR plans to pitching business ideas, every learning experience taught me a lot about how things work in real working environments,” Moody explains. It has prepared her well for a once-in-a-century pandemic too. “The skills I gained at Macleay allowed me to be agile, flexible and be prepared for the unknown,” she says.
A success story in event management
Imagine an inner-city haven, bursting with creative energy and filled with stylish restaurants, galleries, and small bars and unique shopping experiences. Surry Hills, on the southern outskirts of the Central Business District, and a short stroll from Central Station, is a microcosm of the very best Sydney has to offer. This fashionable neighbourhood is Macleay College’s home.
In many aspects, this dynamism is reflected in Macleay College’s programmes. Lecturers are industry figures, infusing classes with real-world, contemporary briefs and equipping students with the skills needed to graduate job-ready. Courses here are built around real-world projects, internships and industry engagement. Pitching business ideas to entrepreneurs is no foreign concept to students here — many develop professional and practical skills through placement programmes with hundreds of industry partners.
Ashleigh Chapple can attest of the advantages of Macleay College’s career-oriented approach. With the help of the Event Management lecturer, the Bachelor of Business with a specialisation in Event Management alumnus landed an internship interview with AGB Events. As a result, she secured the internship and three years later, she now coordinates projects for the company. “I was made producer early last year and recently produced my first event, so it’s definitely nice to look back at how far I have come since then,” Chapple says.
From birthday parties to music festivals and product launches for the World Cup final, Chapple is now confident to curate and manage them to create lifelong memories for her clients. She remembers one of her first assessments at Macleay College where she had to plan her own event, down to the most minute detail like reaching out to suppliers and forming a budget. “Assessments such as these really helped to develop my critical thinking, and learning how to properly do a budget has helped me enormously while developing my own for projects with huge budgets,” she says.
Once terrified of public speaking, the Macleay College graduate now does it with newfound confidence. “By the time I left Macleay I had done so many presentations and group assignments that I was much more comfortable doing this, which is great because it’s now a key part of my work to lead meetings and speak up in large groups!” Chapple enthuses.