Guest Posts

5 Minutes with Hannah Whittaker

I first met Hannah through the Curtin Women in Business Club and she has been a long time supporter of this blog, so I’m very excited to feature her this month!

Hannah is a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in marketing and journalism. When she’s not studying or being Vice President of a club at Curtin University, she’s either playing with her dog Izzy, refining her photography skills or travelling the world.

A big congratulations to Hannah too, for being reelected has Curtin Marketing Association’s Vice President today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Hannah, I am 21 and go to Curtin University. I’m in my final year, so it is full on! Outside of my studies, I love hanging out with my dog (Izzy), photography and travelling. I’ve been to 26 countries, but I’m terrified of flying (fun fact). But my desire to explore the world is strong and I guess I don’t want my fear to control me, so I do my best to push through it.

What made you decide to study a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in marketing and minoring in journalism?

Originally, I didn’t start out at Curtin doing this degree; when I started in 2017, I was doing Creative Advertising and Graphic Design, but after a year I felt it wasn’t what I wanted to do as a career. I then changed to another degree where I could choose two streams, so I chose Marketing for something new, and Journalism because I’ve always had a passion for writing. In 2019 I changed into Commerce so I could focus more on Marketing, and I’m excited for the opportunities after I graduate! There was no moment that made me want to study this combination, I kind of just stumbled into it, and I think that is what a lot of university is like; some people know exactly what they want to do, but a lot also have no idea and work it out along the way.

You’re also the Vice President for Curtin Marketing Association (CMA)*. How did you get involved?

When I started in Marketing, I wanted to meet other people and have opportunities to learn skills and meet industry, so I joined CMA as a general member. I ended up going to a lot of their events and getting more into it all. At the end of 2019, I was asked if I wanted to be on the committee and here I am. The club is a great way for people to meet one another, create connections and develop their skills further for after graduation, so I want to continue help prepare students for industry.

*You can view CMA’s Facebook page here

University is a full-time job in itself (especially for a high achieving student like yourself), so how do you manage to balance everything you do? What is one-time management tip you could give someone?

My life is very full-on, but I also really enjoy keeping busy, so it does mean I need to stay super organised. Each semester I create planners with all my assessments as well as writing down my tasks in a diary so I cannot forget anything. Sometimes I lose the balance and work/ uni takes over, but I know that when I graduate, I am prepared and can work under pressure. My tip would be to use an actual diary instead of adding all things to do on your phone. Phones are great for reminders, but I find writing everything down helps me see it all and I can tick things off once they’re done. I do think making time for yourself is just as important, though – which is something I’m working on this year.

Your degree has also enabled you to study in Berlin and Barcelona. How was this and how can other students study abroad?

During my studies, I have been fortunate to go overseas twice, for credit. I went to Barcelona for a month-long content creation and social media internship, and Berlin was for a short course at the School of Economics and Law. Both these experiences have been amazing for my self-confidence and good for learning more about global business. If you can go overseas, I would recommend it; it’s a really freeing experience! d

Curtin University has a lot of great programs for people to do overseas. For anyone interested, you should talk to the Go Global Team, or for Faculty of Business and Law students, go see the Experience CBS team – they all know so much and can help you get credited for overseas study.

I also see that you have a passion for photography (you can view Hannah’s work here). How did that passion come about?

I do love photography! But with uni, I don’t get a lot of time to do it now. My passion began when my mum bought a new camera and I was messing around with it and I liked how my photos looked and I wanted to get into it properly and learn the skills. So, I got my own camera and just took photos of anything that caught my eye. After a while, I decided to create my Instagram account and posted for fun. A student newspaper liked my photos and wanted to repost and do some work with them, so I did a bit of photojournalism through that, which was awesome!

What has been your favourite thing to photograph and/or what do you hope to photograph in the future?

My absolute favourite thing to shoot is nature. I use a macro lens to get detailed photos of different things I find outside. There is so much to shoot and you just need to look at some things a bit differently sometimes and you can get awesome photos – this was my favourite thing to do. In the future, I hope to do more travel photography!

Your eye for detail in your photos is amazing! Do you think this helps you create marketing campaigns?

Aw, thank you! I think that it just comes down to liking being creative and seeing things differently, so hopefully, it will help my future campaigns. It’s always fun to take something normal and see what you can do with it.

What do you believe the next thing or trend in marketing is going to be?

Now, VR / AR technology is getting so much more popular, and the uses for it in marketing are massive, so I think it will continue to grow in popularity and be valuable to gain more insight particularly into how consumers make purchase decisions.

What does the future look like for you?

I’ll graduate in a year, so after that I honestly have no idea. Over the coming months I’m hoping to get more work experience and meet more people in the industry and see what comes of that. Ideally, I’d love to do content creation for small businesses or not-for-profits. I do want to do postgrad at some point, but I think I’ll take a break for a bit and get some real experience.

Hannah Whittaker is a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in marketing and journalism. When she's not studying or being Vice President of a club at Curtin University, she's either playing with her dog Izzy, refining her photography skills or travelling the world.

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