21 Sep “I learnt to always go with my gut.”
Geelong mentee Kate Swifte started out thinking she’d be on a different path to where she is today. She studied a degree in aquatic science and engineering but quickly realised this wasn’t where her heart was set.
From there, she did what many have done before her by “falling into” a new career. When you fall into something that you end up loving, that’s called a happy accident.
She started working in local radio as a commercial airtime manager and then spent 10 years at 3AW where she was lucky to have a great mentoring experience and learnt the ropes of advertising management.
“I loved having this opportunity and it lead me to have some amazing experiences from there,” says Kate.
These new experiences included being able to work in Vancouver, Canada for a year in an advertising agency. After that, back in Australia, she then spent five years on the launch of The Weekly Review/Domain magazine.
But she missed the radio and the opportunities she had there to work with local businesses. That’s how she got to where she is today, an account manager for Geelong’s K rock 95.5 and bay 93.9.
“I am Geelong born and bred, however working in other markets has enabled me to learn so much about effective advertising campaigns respective of the market and platforms we have to use.
“I now get to work with a number of local, metro and national businesses on their advertising, marketing and promotion to Geelong, The Bellarine and the Surf Coast regions.”
Enter, Mentor Walks
At Mentor Walks, Kate was paired with Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens M.P. (Christine is a very impressive woman, you can read more about her here). Kate wanted to know more about Christine’s pathway to success and how to deal with negative feedback in the workplace.
“Another real pain point for me was finally acknowledging that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. From Christine, I learnt to always go with your gut, and to find a network of women that are there to support and nurture you.”
Her time with Mentor Walks left Kate feeling reinvigorated.
“I now feel a sense of confidence and strength that’s more aligned to who I am in a professional context. The sense of empowerment that I felt from that hour, and the strength my mentor gave to me through her honesty and sharing her experiences, was amazing!”
Kate’s new professional development goals are to hone her communication skills and learning how to ask for what she needs to further her career.
She says mentorship will continue to play an important role in developing these skills because: “Mentorship allows you to be in a safe environment and ask questions to women (or men) that have experienced elements of their career that were either positive or negative. You can learn from how they reacted in those situations, whether that be the right or wrong way.”
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