Dear Junior Series // 04

steph

For some, finding a job can be as difficult as drinking a pie through a straw. It smells good but no matter how hard you suck, you never quite get to taste the meaty broth. You suck and suck until a piece of corn gets stuck halfway and you have to get a new straw and try again. For others, job-hunting is as easy as eating a pie with your hands. The difference was that person number two knew that eating a pie with a straw is for retards who don’t know how to eat. Steph Loupelis had hardly finished uni and she was already gobbling down a big, juicy cherry pie with both hands, landing herself a job at MTV. Clearly this was someone who knew how to eat a pie/get a job. We asked her a couple of questions about landing a job at MTV, and not about eating pies.

Junior: So you work at MTV? We’re pretty sure there’d be kids camping out to get a job like that. How did it come about?

Steph: By chance actually! I was working at my mum’s restaurant and got chatting to a lady whose daughter worked at MTV in Melbourne (at the time there was only two people working at MTV Melbourne. So it was definitely a fateful soy latte!). I told her I was about to graduate from Professional Communication at RMIT, and had no idea what I was going to do with myself. I had majored in PR, but had been so busy working two jobs throughout uni to pay my rent, I had no time to do an internship or work placement – which apparently put me well behind other graduates (looking back I realize this is total BS).  She suggested I call her daughter to have a chat about career options for inspiration, which I did.

When I called, I found out that they were actually looking for an entry level sales coordinator at MTV Melbourne and would I be interested in applying? Hell yes. Even though I had no “experience”, they were after someone with a solid degree, knowledge of the media industry, and a good personality fit for MTV.

About three months after our initial conversation I was offered the position and the rest is history!

Jr: Wow-ee! Definitely a fateful soy latte. So what does a normal day at the office involve for you?

S: It’s crazy! After two years as a sales coordinator, I’ve recently become an account manager and look after some major media agencies in Victoria. This definitely keeps me busy until all hours. The day involves meetings with agencies and clients to discuss briefs, communication with our internal departments to ensure the best response on these briefs, the management and servicing of campaigns and then the post analysis. Then there’s the organization of events, entertainment, parties… The list goes on.

At the risk of sounding like a total loser, it really is one of the coolest jobs in media! You work incredibly hard, but you get to play hard when you’re done.

I’ve taken clients to the last three MTV Australia Awards (and of course their famous after parties) in Sydney, plus concerts, parties and countless super cool MTV events in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Just last week I went up to Sydney on a Wednesday afternoon to take some clients to a taping of MTV’s local music show The Lair, and watched De La Soul perform in front of an intimate crowd of Jager-shotting celebs, partied into the wee hours and then was back at my desk in Melbourne at 9am… I love my job.

Jr: We certainly would too if we was you. OK, so this line intrigues us, “I had no time to do internships/work placements etc which apparently put me well behind other graduates (looking back I realize this is total BS).” Why didn’t an internship or work placement put you behind in the job-hunting challenge?

S: I guess what I meant here is that I loved studying public relations, but throughout uni was constantly being told that if I wanted a decent job in PR after graduating, I’d need to do internships/unpaid work placements to get a foot in the door. When you have real life bills to pay, this is not always an option! After leaving uni and entering the industry, I realised that a lot of the time it’s more about personality and work ethic, and the experience comes naturally through learning on the job.

Jr: If you had any advice for graduates looking to get in anywhere, what do you suggest is the best way to go about it?

S: I think it’s so so important to take a step back after graduating, and figure out your priorities after removing yourself from the whirlwind that is the final semester of final year! It can be such a stressful time, and there can be a lot of competition and pressure to deal with.

My advice would be to have a think about brands/companies that mean something to you. Brands that somehow speak to you in a way that you appreciate and support. I always had in my head that I wanted to work somewhere cool like MTV, but had no idea they even had an office in Melbourne! A little google-ing can go a long way, and this is where a bit of research and brand knowledge will definitely help you in situations where you’re being considered for jobs. This way, if you bump into someone in the street or get chatting to someone at a café, you have the confidence and background knowledge to set yourself apart from everyone else. And you’d be surprised how often you’re asked about what brands embody “you” in job interviews. It’s a really good way for potential employers to gain valuable insight into both your personality, and what kind of industry/brand knowledge you have.

Basically, be yourself and try not to get disheartened when your ‘career’ isn’t progressing as you had planned in your head. The most important thing is to be confident and passionate about who you are and what you do, and the rest will all just fall into place.

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 20/05/2009