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CSU Live Testimonial

Joel ConnollyJoel Connolly

Bachelor of Communication (Theatre / Media) and Master of Arts (Organisational Communication)

"By far the smartest decision I've made as an adult was to enrol in the Bachelor of Arts degree at Charles Sturt University (CSU). I didn't know it at the time, but I was choosing a University that would put a very strong emphasis on giving students practical experience alongside their academic work. Even more importantly, CSU taught me to be a self-starter and a lifelong learner. These two very powerful attributes have led me down a varied and eclectic professional path in which I have run my own artist management company (managing bands including The Rubens, Cloud Control and Urthboy), my own events and PR company (I am the festival director of Sydney Craft Beer Week, which is one of Australia's largest celebrations of craft beer) and most recently, in tech and start-ups as Head of Community for Australia's most successful venture capital company, Blackbird Ventures.

I truly believe that you need to follow your passions in life. If you want to make a dent in the world, then you need to find something you absolutely love. I found my passion at CSU and the course I chose allowed me to experiment with a bunch of different things that led me to where I am today.

Most surprising to me was the impact the academic work has had on my professional life, even 10 years after I started the course. I still bring out my old study texts and use them in my work, and the theoretical framework I built while at CSU is stronger than ever today.

After I completed my Bachelor degree, I enrolled in the Master of Arts (Organisational Communication). Practically, the course was very useful, but the most exciting and rewarding part about choosing this course was the depth of the academic work. I was looking to enter the workforce right after study so I wanted to make sure the research I was doing would be useful to me outside of university. My MA not only strengthened the academic foundations I had built in my undergraduate degree but I also found that once I graduated employers were very impressed."