Communication graduate: Julia Holman
Reporter, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism)* / Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
*The Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) is now known as the Bachelor of Communication (Journalism).
I have had the opportunity to meet some incredible people, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Paul Gaultier, Buzz Aldren, Helen Garner and every Prime Minister since Bob Hawke.
It's two hours to deadline and Julia Holman is in the edit suite, finalising a story for ABC's flagship current affairs program, 7.30. This is a familiar scene in her role as a reporter for 7.30 but she thrives on the thrill of chasing stories.
Julia always knew she wanted to be a journalist. Her journey commenced in 2004, when she began studying Journalism and International Studies at UTS. After graduating, early roles included working as a rural reporter for the ABC in Canberra, Tamworth, Bega and Mildura, before moving on to be a Triple J Hack reporter in Parliament House. Julia then returned to the ABC as an interview producer and then secured her role as a reporter for 7.30.
Living in Chile
I felt really anxious before I headed to Chile, but all the problems I imagined quickly disappeared and instead it was one of the best things I’ve ever done
Travelling to Chile and learning Spanish during her International Studies degree is a skill she is proud of but that wasn't the only thing she took away from the experience. By travelling, she broke out of her comfort zone, learned how to adjust to different situations and developed the confidence to talk to just about anyone; all skills she calls on in her day to day job as a journalist.
Julia says looking back on her degree, one of her favourite parts were the lecturers. They encouraged her to get into the workforce any way she could; doing internships, getting a placement, writing articles for the student newspaper or being part of a radio station. By doing these whilst studying you're in a safe and mentored environment, easing you into to the world of work.
Hi I’m Julia Holman.
I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, and I studied in Chile, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from UTS.
Studying at UTS was really excellent preparation for the work I’m doing now.
From the journalism degree I had excellent teachers, lecturers, mentors, who were saying “get into the workforce whichever way you can, do internships, write articles, be part of the radio station” and that just really got me working in a controlled, safe, mentored environment.
There really is no typical day or anybody who works in daily news and current affairs because you can wake up in the morning and the night before you had your plan, and you thought the day was under control, and then you wake up and some disaster has happened, somewhere in the world, or an amazing story about somebody’s survival has emerged.
And so you need to throw that show out that you had in your head from last night, and start afresh.
Her career highlight from her decade in the industry is working for Hack on triple j in the Press Gallery in Canberra. As a self-confessed political junkie, she couldn’t have picked a better time; she was there for the Gillard Government, the brief Kevin Rudd return and the first year of Tony Abbott. Now working for 7.30 she loves that it allows her to call up just about anyone in the world to request an interview and the thrill when a high-profile interview comes through is hard to beat.
As a journalist, you need to be willing to talk to people and do anything to form a connection; pick up the phone, attend events, stop people in the streets, it can be scary but it will be worth it!
Words of wisdom
To aspiring graduates hoping to break into the industry, Julia has a couple of words of advice:
Consume media from around the world - it’s so accessible these days and it'll broaden your understanding of what's happening beyond Australia
Spend time in a rural area - don’t feel like you have to stay in Sydney or another big city to get the stories, there are stories out there and you'll have much more space to grow as a journalist
Make sure you're skilled in a number of areas - news is consumed on a variety of platforms so make sure you diversify your skillset to a number of areas including online, radio, video and print
I see so many students and graduates coming to the ABC, UTS must be doing something right!
Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Journalism