Dolphins Dreaming: UniSC students spill the secrets to early-career success | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dolphins dreaming

UniSC students share their secrets to early-career sports events success at the Dolphins

Ellen Szymanski and Eloise Bathersby are UniSC students who have already landed dream jobs working with the Dolphins NRL team.

We caught up with Ellen and Eloise to ask them about their roles, and how UniSC’s placements, programs and partnerships helped to pave the way to their early-career success.

Ellen Szymanski​ working backstage at the Dolphins Presentation Ball. Ellen is studying a Bachelor of Sports Studies at UniSC and works at the Dolphins as the Events and Hospitality Assistant.

Q: Ellen, getting a job at the Dolphins came about due to a student placement. Can you tell us about that?


I was blown away when my placement supervisor told me there was an opportunity with the Dolphins, I didn’t know that was even an option. It was extremely unexpected, and a big blessing.

I started my placement with the Dolphins in mid to late February, and at the end of that I went casual, just to help out to the end of the season. Then there was an opening for a full-time position within the events team, which I was offered and is where I am now.

Being at the stadium, in the tunnel, and seeing these iconic footy players walk past and I think, ‘Oh, gosh! I remember seeing them on TV.’

And now I cross paths with them in real life and have conversations with them. I often pause and think, ‘this is pretty cool, it’s definitely not something a lot of people get to experience.’

Q: Why did you choose to study your respective programs, and why did you choose UniSC?

Eloise Bathersby:

I started a degree in nursing straight out of high school, but after two-and-a-half years, I knew it wasn't for me so I left.

I was working at a radio station when COVID-19 hit and I lost my job there, but I thought, "well, I really liked the marketing and event side of the job, so maybe that's what I should study."

I'd heard that UniSC had a great marketing program, having asked around and done the research.

I wanted teachers who would know my name, where I could get a lot more guidance.

Especially going through classes like economics and accounting that makes zero sense to my marketing and events mind. So having tutors that could help me through and guide me to do well, was a really special thing.

Bachelor of Business

The program structure, program requirements and notes for the Bachelor of Business

Ellen Szymanski:

I started out doing teaching and outdoor education, which I enjoyed, but after COVID hit and things went online I ended up losing interest. Then I saw the Bachelor of Sports Studies, and I really liked how broad it was, how it gives you a variety of options and job opportunities instead of boxing you into one category.

I chose UniSC because of what others students said it was a very practical, hands-on uni, which I liked.

I knew the practical side of things would definitely suit me better than overly-academic programs.

I also really like UniSC's classroom sizes being smaller, so you do feel like you get to know your tutors a bit more.

Bachelor of Sports Studies

Combine core sport science courses with an area you want to specialise in. Gain the skills to become job-ready for a career.

Q: What skills do you need to be successful in your roles?


You’ve got to be willing to think on your feet, think fast, and get it done. With events in general, but also in the game day events, you can plan as much as you want, but everything's not always going to go to plan, and you have to be able to problem solve quite quickly.


Communication is so vital to our job, and something I've learned with this job is how much you have to communicate with all different teams, parties and players. Everyone needs to be talking all the time to make sure we're all on the same wavelength, especially on game days.

Eloise Bathersby is studying a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at UniSC, and works for the Dolphins as their Game Day and Event Executive.

Q: What do you think about UniSC's partnerships in terms of opportunities for students?


It can be quite daunting to reach out to these big businesses, but if you know your university has already has a relationship with them, it really helps give you the confidence to go after it.  

Because a lot of students are quite young, having the endorsement of the university is a good sign that the business is keen to hear from younger minds, and are open to their way of doing things, and want to have a relationship with younger people as well.

Q: What advice would you give someone considering studying a program like you did?


Don't feel like you have to stay in a degree you're not a good fit for. It turns out I would have been a terrible nurse, as I don't even like sticking needles in dummies.

So start into something that takes your interest, but while you’re doing that, go and do a bunch of different things and volunteer for an event or at a festival.

There are so many opportunities out there. Do things outside of what you're studying, and don't ever feel like you are contained to that, because there's a million things you can do with one degree.

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