Hats off to Ashlea’s journalism advice

In Ashlea Masters’ daily role for Buchanan Group, a leading global marketing agency, she has to wear a lot of ‘hats’.

The versatility she learnt in her journalism studies has held her in good stead, whether she’s scriptwriting, producing, or directing TV commercials.

Here is her profile…

Ashlea Masters.

Name: Ashlea Masters

Course: Master of Journalism

Faculty/Division: Arts

Dept: School of Media, Film and Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

Year graduated: 2012

Current position: European Lead Creative and Production Manager, Buchanan Group


What was it like breaking into the industry? Was it more ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know’?

Never underestimate the power of friendly conversation in developing contacts. I moved out of the journalism industry but I think it still applies. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and had made an effort to get to know the people around me which placed me at the forefront of their minds for new opportunities. That being said, you don’t stay in positions without having talent and a willingness to build on your current skills, or at least try.


What is a ‘day in the life’ of your current role?

It varies. I’m often creating creative specs for our sales team during pitch sessions with potential clients. Or, in the lead up to shoots, I am often prepping with my production team and having regular client calls to align everything. Then, on shoot day I’ll wear multiple hats to do a little extra production work to keep things moving, put my scriptwriter hat back on to make copy amends as needed, and also work as the director for our TV commercials.


What was a key lesson you learnt at Monash that translated into your workplace?

The role of a journalist or writer is always changing and it’s important to adapt with it.


If you could go back and do your degree again, is there anything you’d change? Subject choice? Time management? Internships?

Knowing what I know now, I likely would have chosen different internships to allow for a different experience focus. I would probably also take advantage of learning additional technical skills (i.e. enhanced video editing, etc.).


What skill (or skills) would you recommend aspiring journos acquire before getting into the industry?

Versatility. You should also never rely on spellcheck – grammar and spelling are the basics, so know them.


When you were a child, what was your dream job?

A veterinarian.


What is your dream job now?

Feature length screenwriter.


Who do you look up to most in the industry?

No one in particular but I do value a well told story that is balanced and unbiased.


Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow alumni?

Yes. It’s a bit harder with me living in London, and everyone focused on what they’re doing now, but I still keep up with my friends from Monash. I’ve also attended a Monash Alumni event in London which was great to meet new faces.


Do you follow any sports teams?

Western Bulldogs – still celebrating that 2016 Grand Final win!


What’s your coffee order?

American or flat white or cappuccino. If it’s got caffeine in it, I’m drinking it.