Persistence is key for Steven

It hasn’t taken Steven Barnes long to gain a foothold in the media industry. After graduating last year, Steven is working in PR and loving it.

Steven recommends his job as an Account Executive for those who want a fast-paced and innovative career.

Here is his profile…

Steven Barnes.

Name: Steven Barnes

Course: Bachelor of Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

Year graduated: 2016

Current position: Account Executive

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

Honestly breaking in is one of the hardest steps in any profession but once you do, things get easier. I think it’s a mixture of who and what you know, but more than anything persistence. In my experience the people who succeed in their career and their lives are the people who keep getting up every day and trying. Something will come. Believe in your own ability and be the one who keeps trying when everyone else gives up. Oh and get that resume and cover letter down pat quickly.

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

A coffee. The most important way start to my day. Quick check of the emails, read the newspapers and get a sense of whats news. Once you do that its all about researching writing and pitching. A journalism degree teaches you how to do all three, even though I work in PR. That’s why if you want a job in the media I feel a journalism degree is one of the best you can invest in.  I love what I do in public relations and would recommend it to people who love to be busy, work on innovative projects, and who want to use their higher order thinking abilities.

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

A lesson Julie Tullberg an ex-lecturer of mine instilled in me: it’s all about ringing phones and persisting. There may not be a job today, but people will remember who you are if you keep trying and one day your dream can be a reality.

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

Do as many internships and outside work as you can possibly manage. Try out every form of media and every medium. See what works for you. Journalism is such a large field it’s great to find a niche you can carve a career from.

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

Be brave. If you fail so what ? Now is the time to make mistakes. You can laugh about it when you’re employed in your dream job.

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

Palaeontologist, but that career choice is ancient history now (pun intended).

What is your dream job now?

An account director in a PR agency.

Who do you look up to most in the industry?

I honestly look up to co-workers more than anything, learning from those who have the same work load and responsibilities as you continually challenges you to evaluate your own work style.

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

All the time, the class I graduated in has an abundance of talent and knowledge and pushes me to be better with their successes.

Do you follow any sports teams?


What’s your coffee order?

Decaff Latte. Fortunately my local barista has finally stopped rolling their eyes at me.