Around 120 UTS BUiLD and journalism students were treated to an afternoon Q&A session with renowned journalist and blogger Mia Freedman. Presented with the opportunity to ask Mia about her love, life and work students engaged with Mia through a live audience, whilst also posing questions on a live Twitter stream using #utsmia
Mia’s popularity and the success of her blog Mama Mia (Australia’s most read women’s website) can be attributed to her honesty, openness and ability to appear as a friend with everyone in the audience. She was willing to answer questions about anything including her perspectives about women in the workplace, her Cadel Evans catastrophe and some useful life lessons she was able to pass on to everyone present, particularly the few keen & budding journalists.
Mia showed that her story and apparent rise to fame is one of determination and a lot of hard work. Touching on the differences faced by the rising Generation Y, who are now entering the professional workforce, she encouraged students to value any opportunities, no matter how lowly they may seem. Mia said that students should expect to put in a lot of hours for voluntarily but this eventually shows a passion and commitment that leads to future work opportunities.
Her experience working for a variety of media outlets as a young woman also challenged her perspectives about the value of women in the workplace. Drawing on her experience of crying alone in the bathrooms of one media station – only because no other women worked there, she encouraged the female audience members to go for every opportunity presented to them – gender should never be a barrier to our limits.
The greatest piece of advice offered to students was the need for a personal mentor – someone that can be honest when things aren’t working, and motivating when you need to go that step further. Mia recommended that students didn’t necessarily need a mentor in their sector – just someone that can offer an honest and fresh perspective.
The students were also treated to an internship opportunity with Mia’s team at Mama Mia vying for a couple of positions exclusively available to UTS students.
The conversation can be re-lived by searching #utsmia on Twitter – our stream was so popular that it trended in Sydney for a few hours after the event, showing the success of BUiLD’s capacity to engage with students.