From growing up in a creative family to graduating with industry experience, Keira is forging a great career in advertising.
Keira Hastings was interested in pursuing a creative career from a young age.
“When I was 12, I wanted to be an editor for Dolly magazine. I thought it would be a lot of fun to work in the media and influence young people like me!
“My dad worked in big marketing companies and when I went out on shoots with him, it seemed like they were having the most fun when they were working on advertising campaigns.
“He brought cool things home from shoots, like surfboards from shooting Corona ads in Mexico or Hawaii, and having leftover props like that around the house had a big influence on me.
“In Year 10 I realised Dolly magazine wasn’t cool anymore and I ditched the idea of being a magazine editor!
“But I started paying attention to the amazing advertising campaigns I saw and thought it would be an awesome way to express my creativity, as well as influence and participate in the world around me.”
Coming to RMIT for the Bachelor of Communication (Advertising) after high school seemed like a sure thing for Keira with the support of everyone around her.
“I got a lot of advice from family, friends and the careers guidance person at school that RMIT was the best uni to attend for a creative and business degree, so RMIT was at the top of my preferences.
Keira quickly discovered the benefit of learning from teachers with industry backgrounds and had experience across the field of advertising, from interning at an ad agency in Melbourne to attending an ad convention in South Korea.
“I’ve learned that the teaching staff can play a huge role in what you get out of your degree. You really get out of your teachers what you put in. We had a really influential teacher in our final semester who was just a rock for us in those stressful last weeks.
“We were considering what we would do after graduation and she gave us great advice from her industry perspective.
“That’s one of the good things about RMIT. Most of the lecturers and teachers have industry experience in whatever you’re studying, so they’re able to give you real life examples.”
Keira draws much of her inspiration from the vibrant culture and art around Melbourne and on campus.
“Coming into the city every day, it's easy to find inspiration. I come out of Melbourne Central station on my way to uni and see the big painted advertising murals on the station walls. It’s inspiring to see campaigns coming to life on your way into class.
“When I’m working on a project I like to move around to get inspiration. The common room in Building 9 is great. I also go down to my favourite spot on campus: the yellow chairs on Bowen Street, then we’ll go to a friend’s house or the park.
“I know that it’s important for the way I learn that I’m not getting stuck in the books all day.”
In her final year, Keira went to Busan in South Korea for Adstars, an advertising convention bringing together creative, production and technology experts.
“My creative partner and I were invited to Adstars, a four-day ad convention in South Korea. We were drawn as finalists from some work we had submitted in Semester 1 and we were the first Australian representatives to be invited to the convention.
“Aside from all the fried chicken and Korean BBQ we ate, our highlights were meeting people from around the world and getting to be in such a creative hub and see all the options that our careers in advertising industry might look like.
“We were encouraged by our teachers at uni to go and learn from everyone at the convention. Without their help, we might not have gone. It was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Keira also interned at an agency in Cremorne -- Melbourne’s advertising and creative hub -- during her studies, getting valuable experience she applied throughout her degree.
“For one of my first internship experiences I spent some time at Taboo, an advertising agency in Cremorne. I thought it was important to find a workplace to intern at that inspired me. I got a lot of hands-on work and valuable experience, and I met people who can act as mentors for me.
“I made connections who I can rely on for career advice, ask questions about uni projects, and just check in with to make sure I’m heading in the right direction.”
Now that Keira’s graduated, she’s planning to get more exposure in the advertising industry.
‘What’s next for me is working towards becoming an art director for an ad company.”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer