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Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Sport Management, Melbourne Burwood Campus, 2009
Currently: Communications Administration Coordinator, Tennis Australia
Choosing a Sport Practicum elective as part of her double degree paid big dividends for Deakin graduate Jenna Eagles. The elective led Jenna into an internship with Australian University Sport, organisers of the Australian University Games.
Later, contacts made during that internship helped gain her a position running the Eastern University Games at Bathurst in New South Wales. She now works for Tennis Australia and is currently preparing for a move to London where she will work on Wimbledon and the London Olympics for IMG.
Jenna has always been heavily involved in sport and initially considered studying an exercise science and business combination. 'But after going to Open Day I decided on the commerce side - that was for me,' she says. Deakin's location did not particularly suit Jenna's Mornington Peninsula location but she had strong reasons for overlooking convenience.
'I looked at the lecturers Deakin and chatted to people in industry. I also spoke to some of the larger sporting organisations and found they had Deakin people working for them,' she says. The atmosphere also convinced her. 'Deakin had the right feel for me,' she says. 'I attended most of the Open Days and Deakin stood out.'
A course with a commerce focus was 'the right fit' for her, Jenna says, and she enjoyed the closeness of the environment. 'There were only 40-50 [students] in the double and I made really close friends. I loved it.' She also joined DUSA (Deakin University Students Association), playing various sports for the University. 'I met people from a range of different courses by playing sport and through functions like the balls.'
The Internship with Australian University Sport saw Jenna involved with the organisation of the 2007 Southern University Games held in Melbourne. 'I was in operations and logistics as a key volunteer. It was a great experience,' she says.
Following the internship, Jenna was asked to stay on. She remained for two days a week while studying, assisting with the staging of the national event. 'I made some fantastic contacts and met really great people,' she says. 'Organising an event for people your own age is great, plus I got to see what drives an event.'
After graduating, Jenna held a brief contract role with Tennis Australia and completed a three month stint organising Melbourne's Grand Prix before spending several months in Bathurst.
At the beginning of 2010 she took up a permanent position with Tennis Australia. 'I started with an executive office, assisting the CEO and the President and helping in a PA role,' she says. 'I enjoyed it and it gave me great experience in all the areas of business.'
Now, as Tennis Australia's Communications Administration Coordinator, Jenna says she serves a unique role. 'I assist the media business unit, for example, in organising international and domestic travel and managing the budget. I also do things like board reports, event briefs and work with relevant parties to plan and process.' She also has helped run events such as the Australian Open trophy tour. 'We took it to China last year which was huge.'
The finance elements of her Deakin course have proved very helpful in her work role, Jenna says, and the sport management units come to the fore when she does event or sponsorship proposals.
'Understanding the business of sport is very important,' she says. The opportunity to do the internship also stood out, she adds. 'Getting out in the industry is very different from uni. There are some things only industry can teach you.'