We spoke with Harry Fitzgerald about his career journey from UWA to radio. From studying commerce and landing a job as a media buyer, Harry tells us about how UWA helped lead him on the right path to where he is today – in a job he loves. Hear about Harry’s journey to broadcasting his own show on Nova 93.7 and his advice for anyone feeling unsure about what they want to do in their career.
What has your career journey looked like since completing your degree?“I started as a media planner/buyer at OMD media agency and helped various clients across all sorts of industries to book their TV, radio, and outdoor advertising. This was a great place to get my career started as I was dealing with both the media suppliers, and clients, so I was able to get a taste of both worlds."
"For anyone generally interested in marketing with no idea what they want to do, I'd highly recommend working at a media agency as you can go many places from there. I had always been interested in radio so took a job in sales at Nova 93.7 after a couple of years in the media agency. After about 18 months in sales, I realised I wanted to move over to the broadcasting side of things so pestered management until they let me learn a few things on the other side of the building. A hybrid role then popped up which I landed - Nathan, Nat, & Shaun's breakfast show panel operator/radio announcer. The early hours are brutal but the spare time during the week allows me to work on other projects such as social media content, MC gigs, and I've also just finished the first season of a Spotify original podcast that I co-host with a couple of mates.”
Could you tell us a bit more about your career at Nova? Any great achievements or work stories?“After working in sales for 18 months my interests moved towards the broadcasting side of things. The biggest achievement for me was successfully transitioning from the sales role to the announcer/panel operator role. I like to consider myself as a fairly clinical button pusher for the breakfast show but I've had my fair share of mistakes. The boss had a word to me after I accidentally played the same song twice in ten minutes.”
What aspects of working in radio do you most enjoy?“The industry is great fun. Nova in particular knows how to celebrate properly with plenty of staff events throughout the year. Also the fact that we're all making a product that intends to entertain means that everyone can be themselves and have a whole lot of fun along the way.”
What do you love about your job?“I barely send emails, it's very hands on, and in most cases I run my own program (once my work is done I can leave for the day and no one is on my case). This leaves plenty of time for fun and other projects during the week.”
Reflecting on your time at UWA, what experiences were most important for your development?
Even though my current job doesn't really align with my studies at UWA, the commerce degree helped me get to where I am. Like so many other people I had no idea what career I wanted to get into but keeping my study choices broad helped me to find the right path. And as painful as group assignments can be, they definitely prepare you for the collaboration that is required in almost every single workplace.”
What advice do you have for other students or future students to get the most out of their university experience?“If you don’t have a concrete idea of what you want to be doing when you complete your studies then maybe consider a part time course (and even work a causal job in conjunction with studies to earn some coin). You’re likely to become more & more interested in the course as you progress through and work out which units suit you best.”
Find out more about studying Business and Commerce at UWA here.