A World Of Possibilities
Can you imagine coaching a football team, designing racing cars, exploring pristine wetlands or exonerating those wrongfully convicted of a crime as part of your degree?
All of these paths are possible through the range of courses available at Edith Cowan University.
When it comes to sport, ECU’s innovative Bachelor of Science (Sports Science and Football) course gives students the inside track, as they use electronic monitoring, including GPS, heart rate monitors and video tracking to analyse the performance of AFL and soccer players in training and competition.
The new Bachelor of Sustainability course brings students right to the forefront of how the world is responding to climate change, while showing how we can make our lives, livelihoods, communities, environments and spaces sustainable.
If fast cars are more your style, the Bachelor of Technology (Motorsports) teaches students about the construction of race cars and how design influences performance. In their final year the student team builds a race car from scratch to race against other university teams.
Students in ECU’s Computer and Security courses learn about physical and computer security, as well as extracting information and digital evidence from computers and storage devices for law enforcement purposes.
Bachelor of Creative Industries (Game Design and Culture) students gain the skills to succeed in the rapidly growing computer games industry. Despite the name, this course isn’t just about console and PC games; the course also explores the possibilities for game design for workplace training, public health and the military.
In ECU’s range of Law and Criminology courses, students have the option to study by working on real cases as part of ECU’s Innocence Project. They examine the cases of those who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime and work to exonerate them.
Placement opportunities, fieldwork, practicums and networking events are also available for the majority of ECU’s students. The University offers more than 300 courses through the faculties of Business and Law; Health, Engineering and Science; Education and Arts and Regional Professional Studies.
ATAR students can find out more information and check their eligibility for ECU courses by visiting chooseecu.com.au. For non-ATAR students, ECU offers a range of entry pathways including direct application and portfolio submission.
LOUIS ROOTS OWNER, SK GAMES
Studied: Games Design at Edith Cowan University PIKA-ECU
Louis Roots has taken the path less traveled, combining tertiary study with practical life experience. After studying Games Design at ECU, he carried those skills halfway across the world to design mobile games in Denmark, before returning home to establish SK Games, one of Australia’s most innovative games studios, focused on custom hardware and community engagement.
Give us an overview of your career to date.
I finished ECU at the end of 2011 and went to Europe at the beginning of 2012, before finding a job in Aarhus, Denmark, where I worked in mobile games for a year-and-a-half. I came back to Perth in mid-2013 and started up SK Games, and since then, running that is what I’ve been up to.
Tell us a little about the Games Design course at ECU.
The games design course was, in 2005/2006, the only game design course offered at the major unis which didn’t focus on coding. I was able to study game design, concept art, and the theory behind gaming.
What were the most important things you learnt that you took into your career? The most important units and projects were the ones that focused on group work and actually producing a product.
You’ve established your own games studio, SK Games. Tell us about it.
SK Games is a rather unique games studio, focused on smaller games built with social interactions in mind. We put on events showcasing not only our games, but similar games from around the world, curated by ourselves. We also produce custom hardware to make these games accessible and approachable. We’ve held events all around the country and our next project will be in conjunction with the Perth Fringe Festival.
What skills do you need to make it in the gaming business?
The gaming industry is as broad as music, film or arts. There’s no simple list of skills needed; I’ve used experiences from my whole life when working in the industry, from traveling, working, studying, living. However, it’s a very fluid industry, and for anyone out there starting off, you’ll definitely find a good set of social skills very valuable. Game developers get together and party more than you’d think.
Has your career to date panned out how you thought it was going to?
My career has gone through a lot of twists and turns; at no point so far could I look ahead more than six months and know where I’d be. In fact, even though I’ve had SK up and running around 14 months now, I’d still say I couldn’t have foreseen the company in its current state six months ago. As I said, it’s a fluid industry – you need to be able to roll with the punches and pick the best path you can see.
ECU offers a Bachelor in Creative Industries with a Game Design and Culture major at the Mt Lawley campus. For more info: ecu.edu.au.
MAEVA HEIM, L’OREAL MARKETING MANAGER
Studied: Law and Business at ECU
Because She’s Worth It
Maeva Heim began university thinking she’d be a a lawyer, but her pathway has taken her across the world and into the corridors of some of the biggest companies on the globe, including ASOS and Proctor and Gamble. Now a full-time marketing manager at L’Oreal in Sydney, she fills us in on how to know what you want, and how to make it happen.
What made you decide to study a Law and Business double degree?
I’ve always had a fascination with the law. Growing up, my favourite TV shows weren’t Friends or Dawson’s Creek – they were Law & Order, Judge Judy, and Boston Legal. In high school I was captain of the mock trial team, and then through in university I participated in the Innocence Project and undertook work experience on the defense teams of various criminal trials. However, there was always part of me that had a strong curiosity for business, which most likely developed from watching and helping my mum operate her own business for many years. To me, the world of business was a creative outlet from the sometimes dry content of the law, so I decided to study business too. Though I intended to work in law, eventually I figured out that my creative potential, and passion for branding and innovation, would be best served in the world of business and marketing.
When you look back at your time at ECU, what memories spring most to mind?
In 2011 I went on exchange in Ottawa, Canada, which has to be one of my most treasured experiences with ECU. I had always planned to go on exchange, but couldn’t have anticipated how much it would change my perspective and my life. I made lifelong friends and developed a global mindset that I haven’t since been able to shake. Spending time with people who have grown up in a different economic climate, with different career prospects and options really forces you to broaden your horizons; I believe this is what set me on the path to where I am now.
You secured a 12-month internship at L’Oreal in Melbourne and you’re now employed there. Is it glamorous?
It’s not the kind of glamour that I’m sure many would imagine! Hours can often be long, and you’re expected to invest your time and energy into the brands you work on as if they were your own. In exchange, you’re given opportunities to develop your skill set, network, and gain general business knowledge must faster than anywhere else I can imagine. Plus, you work with so many like-minded, intelligent and charismatic people, who become very close friends. There are definitely perks, like attending special events, travel, product allowances, and sometimes meeting celebrities. However, the most important thing having the opportunity to own business decisions that entry level employees are rarely trusted with elsewhere. For me, there’s nothing more glamorous than that.
Was moving east something you had to do to further your career?
Absolutely. For me, my career decisions dictate where I need to live, and not the other way around. However, there really is no hard and fast rule. I think it’s important to assess what kind of career or life you want, and then determine what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to get it. There will always be someone willing to sacrifice more than you, or work harder than you, which is why it’s important to really figure out what you want, and more importantly, the values that underpin why you want it.
Give us an overview of 2014 for you?
I spent the first two months of the year living and working in Singapore as part of an internship with Procter & Gamble, working in marketing for Oral-B. This was such a wonderful experience that is only usually offered to two successful applicants per year. My time with Procter & Gamble allowed me to experience business culture in an Asian country for the first time– something I’ve been longing to do.
After this, I headed back to Perth to finish off Semester 1, and worked as a Campaign Marketer for ASOS, bringing ASOS events and competitions to the students of Perth. I then completed European Summer School in Italy, and a Leadership Program called LEAP at UCLA in Los Angeles, before accepting a full time product management and marketing role with L’Oreal and moving to Melbourne in August. It’s been a whirlwind year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What advice do you have for those considering on embarking on a similar path?
It’s a cliché, but one I truly believe in – ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. You don’t have to have your entire life or career planned out to a tee. Having goals is incredibly important, but so is being flexible. If you’re looking to take the plunge into your dream career, but your experience doesn’t match up, look for opportunities to gain experience wherever you can, or think about how the experience you already have can translate into the skills required for the career you want. I was able to secure a marketing role with the biggest cosmetics company in the world with nothing but a resume full of ‘legal’ experience and a truck load of determination- sometimes, that’s all it takes.