Category Archives: AdGrads

Where are they now? Check out these profiles of graduates from the advertising program at Macleay College.

AdGrad Sam Parrott making his mark at Carat Media


Where are you currently working and what do they specialise in? I currently work at Carat Media. We’re a media agency, specialising in how consumers connect & engage with brand through media channels.

Can you describe your role at your current job? I’m currently a Strategy Manager. I get looped into campaigns from the start, where I have a focus on our target market – exactly who the consumer is, and how we can connect with them. We do a heap of research, audience and data analysis on the consumers, to come up with a cross-platform strategy recommendation. It’s a lot of bigger projects, where we find out as much as we can about a demographic!

What have been some of the highlights at your current job? Media is a great industry to get involved with. There’s so many directions you can go down, learning a scope of the advertising world. There’s also some great initiatives to keep you here – agencies have relationships with media companies, a lot who love to throw a party! Besides this, a lot of internal opportunities too – where I’ve even won a trip to Bali! Actual work wise, I was the Business Manager on an awesome client campaign, which was nominated for three industry awards throughout 2016/2017! Having your work turn into something award worthy is so great to see. You can check out that campaign here.

What are your future career goals? Continue to develop my skills within the media & advertising industry. I’ve recently jumped over to Strategy, which has been an interesting move for me – especially coming over from an investment/client service background. I’m keen to continue working on some amazing campaigns, developing myself within the business, and climbing up that ladder – who knows, a future CEO?!

Why did you decide to study at Macleay and how has it helped you get to where you are now? Macleay College hooked me in with the way they had very clear, straight forward & speedy learning opportunities. I liked the fact I could study advertising specifically, and get the degree over and done within two years. Macleay College definitely opened the doors for me entering the advertising industry, where my Media teacher at Macleay, actually worked at Carat Media, giving me that one foot in the door!

What are some of your best memories of your time at Macleay?Creating some great friends, not only with the students, but also with the staff. I’ve got a couple of people who I’ve ended up working with, and still keep in contact with today. I found Macleay to also have a great network, who were all there to support each other.

Macleay College offers 1 year Diploma and 2 year Degree qualifications in Advertising & Digital Media.

Graduating Class of 2016 ‘Feel the Hype’ at their Final Showcase

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Macleay’s Advertising and Media Diploma graduating class of 2016 came together with friends and family to celebrate 12 months of hard work.

Joined by academic and support staff, alumni and industry professionals, the night was themed, organised and run by the students as part of their final term project.

The students were given a budget and asked to prepare their end of year creative portfolios of video, radio, outdoor, digital  and print campaign works, along with a major piece which took centre stage on the night.

In addition to celebrating the students and their work we were joined by three industry experts who judged the best work presented.

The three exceptional judges: Chantal Abouchar, Grant Flannery and Will Edwards have diverse experience in the fields of Advertising and Media. Working in very different industries and with areas of expertise spanning creative, entrepreneurship and digital, the judges were happy to share their knowledge and advice with our Advertising students.

Congratulations to the 2016 graduates on an hugely enjoyable and successful event. We will be keeping a keen eye on your new careers in advertising and media and we wish you all the best.

Thanks for sharing the hype!

Not bad for just a couple of years out of college! #MadeatMacleay

AdGrad Kean Edwards has just scored a great job as Senior UX Designer at AnalogFolk in London. We caught up with him for a quick chat after he landed the role…


“I’m a digital native with a passion for user centred design. Recently moving from Sydney to London, I help businesses reach objectives and create usable experiences people love”.


“I’m a client facing User Experience Architect with a broad spectrum of skills from user research, experience strategy & UX design. I am motivated by a fast paced, collaborative environment, focused on creating user centred solutions.”

Congratulation from all of us at Macleay College and the AdBare team! We wish you ever success in your new role.

Kean Edwards’ Portfolio:

Find out more about Advertising at Macleay…

AdNews features Macleay Graduate Daniel Cutrone #MadeatMacleay


Daniel Cutrone thought he wanted to get into creative, but after graduating from Macleay College he’s found the sweet spot between creativity and science in the media world as head of investment at Match Media.

I always wanted to get into creative. Growing up I was always fascinated by the advertising industry, judging what I deemed to be smart creative messaging. After finishing school I looked into getting an education in marketing and landed a place at Macleay College.

To get my foot in the door I called all the top creative agencies, applied for all the entry-levels roles available, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. One of the students I studied with had landed a media assistant role and it was through those connections that I found myself in my first role at UM. At the time I still wanted a creative role and hoped I could do a sideways step into a creative agency, but after a few months I really started to enjoy media strategy and implementation and my dreams of working in a creative agency became a distant memory.

I’ve been head of investment at Match Media for just over six months and I get to work with a passionate, motivated and ambitious leadership team that keeps its values and vision close to its heart. I love the people, the pace of change, negotiations, the strategies and the implementation of plans within media, but it’s the sweet spot of creativity and science behind media plans that I underestimated. I found myself swept up in a role which gave me ambitious targets to achieve, opportunities to negotiate and trade, creative thinking and sophisticated tools to develop communication plans.

While I was at Macleay College I got a complete picture of the industry, including creative, legal, media, planning, production, so I gained a pretty good understanding of where media sat in the eyes of our clients.

Media and advertising is becoming the lifeblood of many major companies today. It is replacing the front door or bricks and mortar locations and therefore playing a much more active role for businesses. Today media provides more tangible business outcomes than ever before, when the change of a website or an outcome of a negotiation can impact ROI. It’s an exciting time to work in media.

Find out more about Advertising & Media at Macleay



Lexi Mounsey graduated from Macleay College with a Diploma in Advertising and an Advanced Diploma in Communications. In just two years, she’s made her mark and is already recognised as one of J. Walter Thompson’s Rising Stars, winning the agency’s internal award in 2015. She’s making it.

Ultimately, advertising helps drive behaviour change. That’s pretty powerful. Before I got into the advertising world I was studying a degree in physiotherapy and working at a little homewares store in Berry. I used to flog cushions and bamboo ladders all day. I enjoyed interacting with people and observing the way they’d make an intuitive decision, then post–rationalise it, and what do you know, it turns out there’s a career for that!

Advertising is the business of people, or emotions. A great ad has a great human truth behind it. Leave the brand or product truth out of it and there will always be an emotional element that resonates with people. It’s always important to be curious, a trait I honed while studying advertising at Macleay College.

So, try new things, read everything and watch everything, watch people, and watch their processes. If you constantly observe the world around you, you are better equipped to trigger inspiration for a great, unique idea that resonates with others.

I interned and learned a lot of lessons along the way, including that you don’t have to love every role in an industry. Once you graduate from Macleay College you’ll have a sound understanding of how the industry works, the different departments and what they do. So, between my studies and interning I landed a role as an account executive in a creative agency. If you’re not sure what department you want to wind up in, this is a fantastic role to pursue as you get full sight of projects from beginning to end.

Perseverance is the key to getting a foot in the door. I have a stack of cover letters to basically every shop in town, most of which I received no response from. Don’t let it get you down – research the role, the clients that agency holds, the history of the agency so you’re at the ready if an interview comes up at short notice.

If you don’t get it, drop them a note, let them know you’re passionate and curious – these two qualities are hard to teach, so let both be known.

Access to data, tech, and artificial intelligence means big things for advertising in the future. It’s fragmenting the ideas and making brands work harder for attention. It also opens up incredible opportunities, so it’s a pretty exciting ride ahead.

I experience things all the time that change my direction and I’m sure my big break as a CEO is yet to come!

Find out more about Advertising & Media at Macleay

Construction Work to Constructing Copy #MadeAtMacleay

I have fond memories of Ernie Ciaschetti in my Digital Design class back in 2014. He was a talented student and for a time there I thought he’d make a good Art Director but his love of writing won him over and I spoke with him recently about his new role as Copywriter for Saatchi & Saatchi.

Can you describe your new role at Saatchi & Saatchi?
I am a copywriter, so my day to day is either ideating or writing copy for a range of different clients.

What have been some of your career highlights since graduating from Macleay?
Some highlights include hearing a script I’d written on the radio for the first time, winning a pitch with my partner and getting a job at Saatchi and Saatchi.

What are your future career goals?
Win some awards and get a job in New York. We can all dream right?

Why did you decide to study at Macleay and how has it helped you get to where you are now?
To cut a long story short, I was working in construction with my mate Luke, he was studying his Diploma of Advertising at Macleay. He was about one semester in and was really enjoying it. I was over working in construction and Luke recommended I join him at Macleay. So I did. What attracted me to Macleay was the opportunity to learn about all different aspects of the industry from people who have been there and done it. It was their industry insights that not only helped me decide what position best suited me (copywriting), but also prepared me for the crazy world that is advertising.

What are some of your best memories of your time at Macleay?
We went on an excursion to a printing factory- seeing all that machinery in action was something I’ll never forget. Also, working on a TVC for the National Indigenous Culinary Institute, being involved from the initial concept to the final TVC was really rewarding.

Jason Gemenis is a Digital Ninja and teaches Digital Design and Advanced Digital Design for Macleay College’s Diploma of Advertising and Bachelor of Advertising and Media.

How to get a job in an advertising media agency

The genesis for this post comes from a comment by David Haddad, Managing Director at UM, made recently at the Media Federation Australia (MFA) ‘Lecture the Lecturers’ forum. When asked what advertising media agencies seek in the skill set of entry level graduates he said: “at UM, we look for candidates with the potential to become business analysts”. Sounds reasonable, but what exactly is that? Moreover, which skills are required to be a business analyst?


Macleay College advertising graduates Amanda Florence (Starcom Mediavest Group) and Carlos Alcantara (Magna Global) have both successfully launched their careers in the media sector of the advertising industry.

The Federal Government, in the form of Minister for employment, Michaelia Cash, recently released a CSIRO report last entitled “Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce”, you can read it here. The report is timely, as it outlines the megatrends for jobs over the next twenty years and the skills required by employers.

So, if you’d like a job in an advertising media agency, the first thing to do is read the report, soak in the implications for you, undertake a SWOT analysis of your position and develop a strategic plan. Having done that, you will get a job in an advertising media agency. That said, let’s take a look at two of the reports megatrends, specific to advertising media agencies and the skills you can acquire now to ensure you are a quality candidate.

Megatrend 1

Big data and technologies ability to crunch the numbers mean that artificial intelligence (AI) will more efficiently perform tasks than humans more and more. In Media, this is called Programmatic. This means that the only jobs available in the near future will be ones where AI cannot replace humans. In advertising media, that means having the analytic skills to go into a business, identify problems and provide insightful solutions. That is what David Haddad describes as the business analyst.

Megatrend 2

The increasing use of automated systems together with low skilled positions being offshored means that positions available in Australia are complex and highly skilled. Entry level graduates require a higher skill level and a wider repertoire of skills than ever before.

The CSIRO report identifies ten new skills and mindsets needed for graduates navigating the future workforce. There are three, which are of particular importance to anyone aspiring to a career in advertising media

Skill One

New capabilities are needed for new jobs of the future. Sara Varnell a digital strategist at SMV, remarked at the MFA forum “we are so often looking for candidates with skills which have only been required by the market in a very short space of time. There aren’t many people with the skill sets we need when we need them”. For the sake of brevity, those skill sets will not be outlined in this post. However, if you want a job in an advertising media agency, call the following people, ask them what skills they are looking for and add them to your personal strategic plan.

Elissa Good-Omozusi – UM

Martin Cowie – OMD

Pauly Grant – Zenith Optimedia

Skill Two

Digital literacy is needed alongside numeracy and literacy. Put simply, being on Instagram is not enough. You have to know the back end of a plethora of platforms in the digital space. My advice, learn to code.

Hate maths? No good at it? You need to move on and live in the now. There is a massive shift in the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). This is where employment growth is occurring and there is great demand for agency for candidates with skill sets in these areas. Go to a night class, buy the book and work your way through it, at the very least wrap your head around excel, it’s fundamental.

I know, you know how to write. No, you don’t. Well, if you came first in the year in HSC English Extension Two, then yes you can write. Otherwise, not. Writing in the agency is a highly developed and sophisticated skill. Those possessing the talent have usually been mentored and groomed. Therefore, go to the Garrett, fire up that laptop and begin. Being a good writer is one of the skills that agency business directors constantly lament the dearth of talent into me.

Final Thoughts

So, there it is. The skinny on how to get a job in a media agency. Now you have a sophisticated piece of research available to you which can lead you along the right career path instead of down a blind alley. You have a couple of megatrends that you can surf and take advantage of ahead of the game and lastly, you know which skills are hot in media right now. May the road rise up to meet you.

Advertising Lecturer, Lianne Lewis