Medallist gains work as research executive

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Medallist gains work as research executive

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Professor Joanne Scott and graduate Bonnie Lowes

14 November 2017

An Arts/Business student who gained a full-time job with a top market research firm within a month of finishing her degree has earned a University Medal at the recent USC graduation.

Bonnie Lowes, 29, of Sippy Downs, received the medal for her grade point average of 6.81 out of a perfect 7, along with her USC Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business.

“I completed my studies in June and was employed in July as a research executive in the public affairs division of Ipsos Australia, based in Brisbane,” she said.

Ipsos, an independent survey-based market research company founded in France in 1975, has offices in 88 countries covering divisions from customer loyalty to media.

Bonnie, who went to school in Huntingdon in the United Kingdom, moved to the Sunshine Coast with her husband and young son in 2011 and enrolled at USC to fulfil a career dream.

“I loved living here and became very interested in studying at USC after driving past the campus regularly and finding out that it offered everything I was looking for,” she said.

“Studying Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) was my way in, allowing me to study across disciplines to get ready for my degree. I was over the moon when my younger brother Hadleigh joined me – and he’s now in the first year of a paramedic science degree.”

Bonnie was a member of USC’s Student Representative Council and enjoyed two overseas study tours, to Vietnam and South Africa.

“It was thoroughly rewarding to put into practice what I was learning in marketing, public relations and advertising while visiting companies in different environments,” she said.

“I was influenced by the contagious passion of USC arts and business staff Associate Professor Maria Raciti, Dr David Fleischman, Anne Lawrence and Paloma Hodgins.”

She said a marketing internship at The Ginger Factory and working as a research assistant for Dr Raciti had contributed to her employability after completing her degree.

“The knowledge, skills and friendships that I acquired over four years also gave me the confidence to step into the workforce and aim high,” she said.

“I was so proud on graduation day, knowing that my nine-year-old son was watching me cross the stage to collect my degree. It demonstrated what could be achieved with hard work and commitment.

“I am now working on meaningful projects, from patient experience surveys on the Sunshine Coast to understanding public sentiment around transport planning in Brisbane.”

Simon Wake, CEO Ipsos Australia & New Zealand, said: “Ipsos is a professional services business and we rely on the knowledge, skills and strengths of our people to drive success.

“It’s wonderful that we are able to attract talent with the credentials that Bonnie has, and it’s even better for our clients. Ipsos offers intellectually stimulating work for curious people and Bonnie’s skills are the perfect complement to that.”

Visit here for more information on how to study at USC in 2018.

— Julie Schomberg

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