Emily Winter was considering a creative career before her GOALS program, but wasn’t sure which direction to take. Look where the marketing executive is now.
In 2007, 15-year-old Bass High School student Emily Winter was selected for the GOALS program, an experience she says changed her view of herself. Now 28 and working at MySmart, a company that develops intelligent building control systems, Emily says she learned skills she has used in her studies and jobs ever since.
Her favourite session in the mentoring program, which matches corporate volunteers with Year 9 students, was about the value of authenticity and developing a personal brand. ‘The things that have always stayed with me are the importance of making an impression, being authentic in everything you do, and making sure you always have what you are passionate about somewhere in your life, whether that is career or non-career,’ says Emily, the eldest of three girls in a family that lives in Georges Hall, near Bankstown in Sydney.
‘I still use the lessons about having a firm handshake and think about that every time I shake someone’s hand.’
GOALS aims to develop students’ mindsets, goals, interview skills and aspirations. Together with their mentors, students explore their options beyond school while also building skills for the workplace. A key objective is to encourage students to finish high school; 90% of ABCN students who participated in GOALS completed Year 12 or its equivalent in 2019, compared with an 82% national average and 68% for disadvantaged students.
Emily found visiting corporate offices where her mentor worked interesting. The program also included an outing to the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition at Bondi Beach, which was life-changing for a young person exploring their creative options. ‘I didn’t have exposure to things like that; going there opened my eyes,’ Emily says.
‘GOALS changed the way I wanted to shape myself and helped me understand the other opportunities out there … it made me want to pursue my passion and for me as a teenager that was music.’
After high school, Emily enrolled to study a bachelor of music at the Australian Institute for Music in Surry Hills. She also completed courses in marketing and graphic design at TAFE before enrolling to study part-time for a bachelor of creative industries (design and visual arts) at Charles Sturt University.
She discovered a passion for marketing and branding, and has worked at Booktopia, Rams Home Loans, and, since 2017, at MySmart. She has also just started a freelance business for small businesses and creatives.
‘Thank you, ABCN, for the incredible opportunity,’ Emily says. ‘I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have as a teenager but I can tell you, it’s definitely played a significant role in my journey.’
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