Uni vs the school of life: It pays to be cheeky

Last updated 05:00 03/02/2013

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After a few horrible administration jobs I realised I really wasn't cut out to be a receptionist or customer services person.

So, after assessing my strengths I hunted out a graphic design course that suited my needs.

I moved cities, got a part-time job, a super cheap flat and got stuck in. The course was great, it even gave you an option for finding work experience which I jumped on and I spent an amazing two weeks at a company learning heaps.

After 10 months of hard slog I'd achieved my diploma. It was time to return home and find a job!

Nothing! Every printing company and design company was already well-staffed. I was hunting frantically for four months. So what to do?

I signed on with a recruitment agency. I fell back on my old administration skills and managed to land a full time position temping at the university dental school. At least it got me off the dole.

After five weeks I heard the university also had a printing operation so I did the cheekiest thing ever. I found the email of the manager and sent him a message saying I was going to work for him. Yes, in those words.

The next day I got a phone call: "Can you come in tomorrow for an interview?"

It turns out they were understaffed and over worked so needed another set of hands. I went to the interview, showed them my portfolio, wooed them with my knowledge of the industry and won them over.

Eight years later I'm still there. Degrees and diplomas are great, but work experience whilst doing them is even better. It helped getting my foot in the door. That and a little cheekiness.

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