From Google doodle to dream career

From Google doodle to dream career

James Rotanson

A university degree is not a destination – it’s a learning experience you build on every day.

James Rotanson
Bachelor of Arts – Media, 2015

Coming from an Indonesian/Singaporean family with single mother and two younger brothers, I always felt the pressure to follow the classic ‘secure degree, job and pay’ pathway.

But my passion always lay in design, media and technology. I spent my teenage years working on my illustration skills, even winning a Google doodle competition along the way. I followed that passion to Macquarie University, where I enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts – Media.

Luckily for me, I have been able to translate my passion into a design role at Atlassian, a leading Australian technology company that recently floated on the US stock exchange.

I’m also running my own freelance design agency, and spend hours on the net exploring techniques in 3D computer graphics, animation and web development. I like to surround myself with unfamiliar ideas and constantly experiment with new frameworks to reinvent solutions.

In this way, Macquarie really suited me, because it’s inherently not a traditional university. Students are encouraged to explore subjects outside their major and they’re expected to develop their own self-discipline and initiative.

This was important for me because as an international student I arrived with no local networks or connections. I had to be smart and take as many opportunities as possible during my study – including joining the University’s student magazine Grapeshot and global youth network AIESEC – which led to a job and visa sponsorship offer before I had even graduated.

I now realise what matters more than career progression is an attitude and mindset to keep on learning. Because at the end of the day, a university degree is not a destination – it’s a learning experience you build on every day.

Find your place in the new media landscape with a degree in media, creative arts and communication.

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