Thomas Macerola

Thomas Macerola

University of Western Sydney
Group Investment Director
Thomas studied Bachelor of Communication (undergraduate) in 2010 at the Western Sydney University.

About you

What did you study at undergraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now? Are you studying and working at the same time?

I completed a Bachelor of Communication (undergraduate) and graduated in 2010. I am currently working full time in a media agency - Zenith Sydney. I have been in media for 10 years.

What have been the most important stages of your life?

High School Certificate - Graduated in 2010
University Degree - Bachelor of Communications at University of Western Sydney
Entry level role in media 2010 at Mediacom Sydney - I have continued my career in media and worked my way through to a senior position within the industry. I have been involved with global media pitches and have attended many APAC training courses for the companies I have worked for.

How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and how long have you been working there?

I have been in the role for 18 months and was poached from another agency. With limited talent, the people who put in the work and have the right attitude, easily stand out within the industry and are usually poached. As the industry is small, work ethic and reputation are critical.

About your course

What made you decide to progress with further study? 

I decided to progress with further study straight out of high school. The motivations behind this were to help me land a job and start my career. My goal is to be able to retire by 50 therefore hard work and early entry into the work force was critical for me. 

How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?

I decided on the course as I always had an interest in content and media. I loved creating pictures, films etc so was an easy decision. At one stage out of high school i was contemplating a trade however felt that the strongest avenue to start my career would be by attending university and gaining the skills I could learn there. I did not contemplate any other degrees.

What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?

High School Certificate and minimum score of 70 were the pre-requisites for the course.

In order to apply, I needed to submit the courses I would like to attend at the end of year 12. From there once the HSC was completed and I received my mark, I needed to confirm the university I wanted to attend and then received a letter of confirmation to say I was successful.

What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)

A typical day of study included attending multiple lectures and tutorials throughout the day followed by socializing with peers and study. I would normally follow up a lecture with a tutorial if i was successful in registration. If not I would go t the library and summarize the notes taken within the lecture.  

Pros and cons

Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.

Yes the course completed was very beneficial as it was one of the only accredited courses from my industry. This helped shape expectation as well as give insight to what I would do at an entry level role. It also gave me the work ethic to learn as much as I could. From organised notes to simple things like arriving to meetings on time prepared.

What do you love the most about your course?

I loved the content. It was all very interesting and helped shape what to expect when I left to join my first agency. The course also gave insight into multiple facets of media and how it operates from creative through to media strategy. The course also prepared me for professional life and the principles needed to succeed

What are the limitations of your course?

As it is communications it was very broad. I feel that the content was very theory based and good to set expectations however all workplaces want people with experience therefore recommend involving business to draw up real life examples to apply the theory and help students get experience. The more experience a student can get the more attractive they are to businesses.

A word to the wise…

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.

You get out what you put in. The course wont necessarily give you all the skills you need to perform in the real world but it will give a solid foundation to learn and adapt quickly once you commence your career.