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You’re good at your job, but what’s next?

The career boost scholarship has opened doors that only a few months ago I did not even know existed.

By Meg Purtell

Twelve months ago if I had heard the words strategy, innovation and iteration, they would have been among the top three buzz words to cause me to silently roll my journalistic eyes.

I never could have imagined how being awarded Women in Media Queensland’s inaugural Career Boost Scholarship would change all of that.

I was presented with the Scholarship in March 2020 and chose to study a Graduate Certificate in Business (Enterprise Leadership) at Queensland University of Technology. It was my first taste of university life having landed a job as a journalist without a degree many years ago.

I had had a fulfilling and successful career to date, the majority as a radio news producer and presenter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I enjoyed what I was doing but like many mid-career women, I wondered if that was it for the next 30 years of my working life.

I had a desire to move into a leadership role in on-demand news, but I needed to boost my skills to enable that to happen.

The Women in Media Queensland Career Boost Scholarship allowed me to study subjects that involved design thinking, innovation, strategy and leadership to address this gap.

It turns out they are much more than just buzz words and are in fact areas that I am passionately interested in.

While some aspects of the courses were familiar, there were many times my eyes were opened to a whole new world of learning. Throughout the year I came to realise the value and versatility of my skill set in settings beyond the familiar surrounds of a busy newsroom.

As well as the many practical skills that I have obtained through the scholarship, it has also given me the confidence to explore the world outside my usual comfort zone.

I’ve had interesting conversations with people I would never have normally reached out to, both inside and outside the ABC, and I have gained an invaluable network of like-minded women in businesses across Queensland who are hardworking, great at what they do and passionate about leading change in their organisations.

Could I have achieved this without the Women in Media Career Boost Scholarship? Of course. Would I have plucked up the courage and found the time to enrol to study while working full time? Probably not.

Thank you does not even go close to expressing how grateful I am to have been afforded such a career-changing opportunity. The scholarship has opened doors that only a few months ago I did not even know existed.

Endless possibilities await in 2021 as I complete the last of my course and explore opportunities in an area that I am thoroughly passionate about – iterations and all!

I am thrilled that Women in Media Queensland is offering the Career Boost Scholarship again in 2021 and I would encourage all mid-career women to submit an application. I wish the successful candidate all the very best for an equally wonderful, career-changing experience and I can not wait to share what I have learnt with the wider Women in Media community.


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