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Bachelor of Arts (Communication Management) 1993 and
Master of Tourism Management 2009
Deakin graduate Serena Eldridge certainly is passionate about her role as a sales and marketing executive with one of Australia's best known tourist attractions.
'I work with Australia's foremost outdoor museum - Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, Victoria which recreates the area's first 10 years after the discovery of gold in 1851.'
'My main responsibility is to "sell" the Sovereign Hill product to Australian and New Zealand markets. This involves managing sponsorships, developing and implementing marketing strategies and public relations campaigns.'
'Not only do I love having the opportunity to sell an internationally recognised attraction - as everyone loves holidays, but the people who make up the organisation are fantastic to work with as they are so positive and passionate about what they do. Another great thing about the job is that I get to travel!'
Serena says she has experienced some great career highlights with Sovereign Hill over the past few years.
'Working on the 2007 Sovereign Hill Music Festival, was a real highlight where I was one of the key staff that organised the three day event. It is certainly the biggest event I have worked on and to see months of hard work come together at the end was a huge thrill.'
'Also having the opportunity to speak to the Cultural Tourism Conference in Canberra in 2008 about the challenges facing Sovereign Hill in the future was a great experience.'
Serena initially graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993 from Deakin's Warrnambool Campus and then decided after more than a decade away from university, to undertake postgraduate study in tourism management to progress her career.
'I did my masters to learn new skills. It had been such a long time since I had graduated with my arts degree and as the world changes so quickly, I felt that I needed to keep up with current theories and trends, in what is a very highly competitive industry.'
'I really enjoyed the challenge of being in a learning environment again and the Deakin Studies Online system was invaluable for communicating with lecturers and other students - it was my "Clayton's" classroom!'
'My courses have given me directly transferable skills that I use on a daily basis. The PR strategies I learned are still relevant today and my increased knowledge gained from the various marketing streams have given me the confidence and ability to sell Sovereign Hill in a very competitive environment,' Serena explained.
As for the future, Serena says she plans to progress her career with the Australian tourist icon.
'I have only been with Sovereign Hill for a few years so there is still so much to do and learn here. I would certainly like to move up the ladder within the organisation - although this is probably news to my boss! Eventually I would like to make a sea change back to Warrnambool to work in regional tourism.'