Bachelor of Corporate and Public Affairs, 2010
Public Affairs Officer, Department of Human Services – Medicare
Sophia Seselja admits that getting your ideal job isn’t always easy. Clocking up hours of experience through course placement and voluntary work, plus the intensity of the rigorous application process, didn’t deter her from aiming high. With the majority of the Australian public as her target audience, Sophia tells us how studying at USC prepared her for her influential role.
What does your day-to-day work involve?
My role involves a variety of work from writing and editing publications and materials for the web, event management, compiling statistical information and translating policy so it can be easily understood by the Australian public. Thinking of creative ways to inform the Australian public of important messages is also on my agenda.
Any facts about how you gained the position?
Gaining a government communication position is very tough as you really have to prove your experience in your field. The application and interview process is a lot of work - you have to address selection criteria, attend an interview and then take a written test. It can be scary and a little stressful. They use each section of the recruitment process to narrow down the suitable applicants for the position.
What attracted you to the position?
In most areas of the communication field, you need to communicate to a target public. Target publics can often be broken down into smalls group or different demographics. I was attracted to my job, as it is not very often in a communications role that you have a target public that is the whole of Australia.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people I work with and the opportunities I get to develop my skills through training and courses.
What exciting or interesting projects are you working on?
My position allows me to work on a range of exciting projects. Recently, I worked on an event to raise awareness of the Australian Organ Donor Register in conjunction with the Brumbies rugby union team. The event involved half–time entertainment activities to raise awareness to spectators and a press conference where members of the team signed on to the register. My role also allows me to explore different communication channels such as social media and smart phone applications.
What did you enjoy most about studying at USC?
The campus was inviting and resources were up–to–date. I always had access to lecturers and members of the faculty. I had a great relationship with my lecturers during my time there. I still keep in contact with some of them! I also met some interesting people and made some really good friends during my studies.
Why did you choose your particular USC degree?
Originally I was studying a different degree, but it was not meshing with me. I really enjoyed studying politics and international relations, but I felt to work in this field I needed a specific skill set. After speaking with my lecturer I found a different degree that enabled me to study in two different areas that I loved.