For 2011 graduate, Meg Handley, the media skills gained at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School to critically evaluate advertising, are being used in her career but on the other side of the fence.
Meg is a Media Executive at Perth’s largest advertising agency, 303 MullenLowe and recognises the irony of her profession and how she is now using the tools learnt at School.
“Ms Farrell was my Media teacher all the way through Bunbury Grammar and had a huge impact on the way I thought about things. She taught us how to view information critically and think deeply about what media sources were trying to say,” Meg said.
“Ironically, I am now on the other side of the fence, working in advertising and am the one attempting to influence and change opinions,” she added.
In 2015, Meg graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Arts and worked for three years in internships before a short stint in influencer marketing.
Since starting with 303 MullenLowe in 2018, Meg’s role has evolved from Media Co-ordinator to encompass planning, buying and reporting on the agency’s advertising campaigns for some of Perth’s biggest clients – City of Perth, JWH Group, Hawaiian Group, Royal Lifesaving WA and the Telethon Kids Institute.
According to Meg, working for one of the largest and most respected agencies is one of the pinnacles in her career.
She also acknowledges her good fortune in securing a Perth-based position.
“A lot of other university graduates had to move over east in order to work in advertising, so I feel very lucky that I have been able to work in my dream job in WA,” she said.
This has not curtailed her ambitions to one day travel overseas and she hopes to further her advertising career in an international market.
“I am passionate about the advertising industry and I would love to work overseas in the future. Obviously with COVID, this is likely to be later rather than sooner,” she said.
Meg concedes that the advertising industry has a bad reputation but staunchly believes in the opportunities waiting to be harnessed.
“Advertising gets a bad rap, however it is bursting with talented and creative people,” she reflected.
“I am very interested in encouraging more social responsibility within the advertising industry and an aim of mine is to hopefully figure out avenues for people in the industry to donate their time and skills to worthy causes and charities,” she said.
Meg’s success is driven by her beliefs: a belief in being herself and being unique.
“The things that make you unique are the things that people will remember, and the things that will set you apart from the crowd – they are your greatest asset,” she said.
These underlying beliefs are complemented by Meg’s willingness to get stuck into things and the writing skills, gained from Mrs Howell at Bunbury Grammar.
“Mrs Howell cultivated my skills and gave me confidence in my writing which I am still very grateful for. Being able to write confidently and with purpose seems simple, but I have found it to be massively important in virtually every element of my life outside of school,” she concluded.