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Striking goals with Work Integrated Learning

News story

A Bachelor of Commerce degree can take you places – even to the hockey field.

Elyse Alexander is in her second year of a double major in tourism and hospitality and marketing, and is interning at Hockey WA to promote the Australian Hockey League – the nation’s premier hockey tournament.

More than 30,000 people throughout WA are active hockey players, and the Australian Hockey League aims to further increase participation and engagement in the sport.

“Last year’s Austalian Hockey League in Perth was extremely well received and provided an excellent platform for us to deliver an improved competition this time around,” says Hockey WA president Phil Nillsen. “Hockey WA and Hockey Australia are now focused on ensuring the 2017 league will provide a greater value for our sport, and the wider hockey and sporting community.”

WA Diamonds and Australia player Kathryn Slattery.

WA Diamonds and Australia player Kathryn Slattery. Credit: Click InFocus

Alexander received the internship with Hockey WA through Curtin Work Integrated Learning (WIL).

“I knew that if I wanted to have a job in marketing I would need some real-life experience,” explains Alexander on how she came to intern for the sporting body. “Hockey WA is not-for-profit – it’s different and I thought that was exciting, so I went through WIL to replace one of my units for a business internship unit. I thought having additional practical experience made sense.”

Alexander has been working closely with Robert Moore, the communications coordinator at Hockey WA, to help produce the marketing campaign for the international competition, which will take place at Curtin Stadium from 28 September to 8 October.

“I’ve been doing the social media plan to promote the event, which includes creating written content and visual graphics. I’ve also been writing news articles for the website and mail outs, and engaging with external stakeholders and key partners.”

Alexanders says the article writing has been the most difficult aspect of the role, but she has enjoyed expanding upon her skillset and seeing how her classroom learning is applied in a ‘real-life’ setting.

“The article writing is something I haven’t learned through my degree, so that’s been really valuable to have a new skill I wouldn’t have acquired otherwise,” she says. “I have done a few social media plans already in my course, but a lot of it I haven’t been able to put into practice, so it’s been good to use the software and see how it all works.”

WA Thundersticks Star and Australia player Trent Mitton.

WA Thundersticks Star and Australia player Trent Mitton. Credit: Click InFocus

A commerce degree wasn’t the first choice for Alexander, but the internship has helped to confirm she has found her ideal career path.

“I actually enrolled in agribusiness at Curtin because I grew up on a farm in Beverley, and I thought I wanted to go into that area, but did a semester and found it wasn’t for me,” she says. “I withdrew from university … but then I decided to have another go and did a marketing unit and just really enjoyed it. I’m so glad a found it this way. I just love that marketing gives you scope to be both analytical and creative.

“I would really encourage other students to get work experience while they’re still studying, because then you know if you’re on the right track. And even if you’re already on the right track, it’s also good to meet people in the industry and know which specific area you want to go into.”

Alexander hopes to have a career in tourism marketing once she graduates, but in the mean time she is keen to keep developing her marketing and hockey knowledge.

“I definitely understand hockey a lot more since starting this role, and have more of a respect for it,” she says. “I was a netball girl, but now I think I will go and watch a few hockey games!”

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