I’M SURE that for a lot of us, getting paid to work and live in Australia is a dream come true.
Crisp white sand between your toes and crystal blue waters rolling into the horizon sounds like heaven on Earth.
Well for one ex-Teesside student, it’s about to become reality.
Journalism graduate Matthew Norman is jetting off to the land of kangaroos and vegemite sandwiches.
But his route to the southern hemisphere was a fairly unique one which owed a little to the skills he picked up at Teesside University.
Graduating as a NCTJ qualified Multimedia Journalist, Matthew managed to get a job working as a SEO executive for Colewood Internet in Stokesley and from there started building on skills he learnt at Teesside University.
It was the advertising of these skills on business social networking site LinkedIn that started him on the road to the land down under.
His fleshed out cyber CV was spotted by a recruiter in Australia who contacted Matthew about several job openings with their company MatchMedia in Sydney.
“On your right hand side you have how full your profile is so I made sure that it was full but it was also good for jobs because of the adverts on LinkedIn. The articles that are on LinkedIn are great and incredibly helpful,” Matthew said.
Despite the initial contact from Australia, Matthew felt his skills were not up to standard to fill the role properly so he decided to leave it for a year and gain more experience in digital marketing.
After working as SEO Account Manager at Colewood and a Digital Account Director at Spring Digital Media in Middlesbrough, Matthew was contacted again about the jobs and this time sent out his CV and managed to ace the interview at 7am on his hotel balcony while on holiday in Spain.
Matthew credits the depth of LinkedIn as one of the main reasons for him being scouted by MatchMedia and feels that if he didn’t have a full profile and the recommendations from people that he has worked with, the recruiter wouldn’t have “batted an eyelid.”
One of the other reasons he feels he got the jobs that he has had is the journalism course here at Teesside.
He credits the course for its mix of traditional media techniques with the new skills needed to function in the digital environment that he learnt during his time studying here.
Matthew said: “You need to know everything about anything to do with the internet and websites. You kind of need to be half developer, half marketer and that’s where the content came in. That’s where the content from the course came in, to market a product you need to be able to write well for the website whether that’s with blog posts or articles.”
When asked about advice on how to get through the minefield that is University life, his answer was as inspiring and blunt as a kick up the backside,
“My advice would be to suck it up and do the work, you only get one shot so do as much as you can,” He said.
As he readies himself to step on a plane to go from a small town in Europe to one of the most-well known cities in the World, I asked him what he going to miss about our little slice of home,
“My family, parmos and the Boro.”