Amber Greasley, 24, is one hell of a go-getter. A face you may remember from the Miss World Australia comp in 2011, Amber was just 18 when she competed and took the crown. She packed her bags, moved to Melbourne for four months and then London to fulfil her ‘royal’ duties, where she learnt all about trusting that gut feeling. Amber is currently the Assistant Chief of Staff at 7 News Sydney, where she’s working her way up to getting back in front of a camera. Amber shares her career journey with us.
I was a bit of a nerd and a perfectionist in high school (well, I still am) so I always performed well. I have a bit of a competitive streak as well, so was pretty driven to be one of the best, if not the best, in my classes. I studied a lot, spoke to my teachers often and asked a lot of questions.
I attended Mount Alvernia College in Kedron, Queensland. In hindsight, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career at that stage. I did a variety of subjects in my senior years including two arts subjects and a few strands of science. It’s here I took a few interesting turns. I was accepted into my first university preference and started a Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT, majoring in Fashion and Advertising.
After six months, I decided I needed more of a challenge. I had excelled in science during high school so I transferred into the science department and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. Needless to say, despite getting good marks, that didn’t last long. Feeling a bit lost, I knew I enjoyed and always did well at English, so I enrolled into a two-day NIDA TV Presenters Intensive course. I loved it and knew I loved writing and telling stories. Journalism ended up being the perfect fit.
Macleay was fantastic and I’d highly recommend it to anyone considering a career in journalism. The course actually came recommended from someone who worked in the industry, as you can complete a diploma in only a year. As someone who studied one semester of a university degree in the subject, I saw the obvious differences immediately, and Macleay is much more practical. You learn skills you use and make invaluable industry contacts.
I think it’s hugely important to complete at least one internship while studying. You learn so many practical skills and terms you don’t learn in the classroom and can put what you do learn in the classroom to practice. It’s also great for making relationships with others in the industry who can offer some fantastic advice.
I think students go into an internship with the wrong attitude though. I’ve seen a lot come through the door and show no initiative and expect to go home after an eight hour day. My advice would be to say yes to everything, stay as late as you can, ask questions, pay attention. People, often important people, are always watching. Also, always smile and be polite to everyone you see in the building and on the road. You never know who they might be.
I’m currently working as the Assistant Chief of Staff at 7 News. I first walked in the door a year ago literally to the week, as a news intern. I was meant to be there for a two-week internship, however managed to wrangle my way back in the door for one day a week and any extra days they needed a spare pair of hands and I wasn’t at college. I did some work with their social media manager here and there, and was offered a job as a social media producer in the newsroom before making my way up to the Chief of Staff desk.
I’m lucky to be surrounded by some incredible people every day, whether it be in the office or on the road (or at post-work drinks) – they always give me honest and invaluable advice. One of my good girlfriends has worked in the industry for a long time though and probably without realising it has always pointed me in a good direction, she even pointed me to Macleay when I wanted to return to study!
My only regret is I would have loved to have gone straight into a journalism degree out of high school and finished it before I did Miss World. It definitely would have made timing and ticking boxes easier and faster. Early last year I juggled a pretty full study and work schedule which meant I said goodbye to a lot of downtime, a bit of my social life and a lot of sleep, but it’s all been completely worth it.
My dream job would ultimately to be a reporter, so I’m not there yet, but I’m hopeful I’m heading in the right direction!