Carla De Maria chose to study at RMIT where she could combine industry focus and applied learning to further her career in the advertising industry.
User Experience/Optimisation consultant at Wunderman-Bienalto
What made you choose to study advertising?
I came out of my undergraduate degree wanting to explore the relationship between media, technology and culture. The way they influence and shape one another is fascinating to me. After graduating, I decided I wanted to dig deeper into these relationships as part of my postgraduate studies. I knew I wanted to work in an industry where I could combine my interests. I saw the Master of Advertising as a way to get a mix of both creativity and technology. Essentially, advertising is a direct product of how society and culture is shaped today. This is what led me to apply for the program.
What surprised you about this program?
Within each of the subjects, I had the flexibility to choose what areas of advertising I wanted to focus my studies on. My passion was in design, creative and strategy, so I tailored all my assignments and electives to focus on these areas. This approach to learning allowed me to get the most of out of my coursework and helped me to advance in my chosen areas.
What outcomes did you experience from this course?
Well, I picked up a Z academy traineeship through Wunderman-Bienalto. This opportunity came about after a lecturer of mine sent out a job posting. Wunderman-Bienalto is a creative digital agency that specialises in strategy, content and engagement between brands, marketers and customers. I started off as a digital account executive, where I spent the majority of my time managing activities for a client with a portfolio of 38 shopping centres. After three months, I was transferred and was able to extend my skillset and become involved in production. This is where I was first exposed to the disciplines of user experience and optimisation, which really intrigued me!
Where are you now?
My original goal was to become a strategic planner, which is actually part of the reason I started the Master of Advertising. However, Wunderman-Bienalto opened my eyes to new opportunities. I worked hard so I could make my way into my preferred area of the agency. Two-and-a-half years later I’m working as an Optimisation and User Experience consultant and I’m loving it! Currently I am working with one of our clients to redesign a series of websites. My focus is on the user experience of these websites and how I can enhance them.
What advice would you give to people considering studying a postgraduate degree?
Be open to new opportunities! I am currently in a position that I didn’t even know existed when I first started studying.