Swinburne alumni return to talk to current advertising students

Friday 23 May 2014

The large waved Swinburne signage of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building in Hawthorn which faces East down Burwood Road.

Three Swinburne University of Technology alumni have returned to their old stomping ground, Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus, to talk to the next generation of advertising gurus. 

Michael Godwin, Zoe Warne and Rob Barnett, who are all now in senior positions at advertising agencies in Melbourne, made the return to appear as guest presenters for a class of third year Swinburne Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Communication (Advertising) students who will soon be graduating and entering the professional work force.

David Reid, advertising unit convenor, said that the aim of the ten person advertising guest speaker series was to provide Swinburne students in their final year of study with a glimpse into the advertising industry.

“Advertising is one of those industries that really is all about ‘who you know’, which is a large part of the reason that I decided to run this series,” Mr Reid said.

“The hope of running a guest speaker series like this is that the students will begin to form industry networks, which may eventually lead to them getting a foot in the door in an advertising-related job.”

Michael Godwin, Managing Director of JWT Melbourne, said that he chose to come back and speak to current Swinburne students because when he was a student himself, he found it to be a helpful experience to hear from those who were already working in the industry.

“I remember when I was studying that I really liked to hear from people who were already working in industry. It  was always interesting to hear exactly what people did in the day-to-day of their jobs ,” Mr Godwin said.

“I have fond memories of Swinburne. I even met my wife there!”

Another one of the guest speakers, Zoe Warne, the Director of August, she said that coming back to Swinburne was a rewarding experience.

“In an education sense, it’s great to be able to give back,” Ms Warne said.

She said that when she was a student at Swinburne, working on projects and talking to those in the industry was one of the highlights of her Swinburne degree.

“Hearing from those already working in advertising roles and agencies was what inspired me the most when I was a student. You’re given an insight into what your job could be like one day.”

Rob Barnett, the Associate Creative Director at Isobar, remembers his time at Swinburne fondly, saying that it gave him some great foundational skills which helped him secure a career in advertising.

“I actually left Swinburne with a computer-aided art design qualification, but over time I was able to move into the advertising industry,” Mr Barnett said.

“I thought it would be good to come back and talk to students about my own career journey and show how university can open the door to countless, unexpected opportunities.”