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Currently: PhD, Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood campus
After finishing year 12 in 1999, Wayne Read did factory work, spent some time in small retail outlets and had a stint working in a video store. The thought that one day he may be a university lecturer was not on his radar. Fast forward and Wayne has completed an Honours degree - picking up the Vice Chancellor's prize for his thesis along the way - and is now throwing himself into a PhD. He already is tutoring at Deakin and sees himself joining a university's academic staff in the not-too-distant future. 'An academic career would be fantastic,' he says.
In 2000, a knee reconstruction hijacked Wayne's school leaving plans. He deferred his university place in a behavioural science course and drifted into various jobs. He says it took a friend from the past to jolt him into action. 'She walked into the video store where I was working and said, 'You should be at uni. Why aren't you a doctor?' It was the kick in the head I needed.'
By that time Deakin had introduced a psychology and management degree and, as he lived in Ocean Grove, the location suited Wayne. 'I thought psychology would be fun, I found it interesting at school,' he says. Initially he aimed to become a psychologist but choosing marketing as a business major saw him broaden his interests. 'In my last year I did a summer trimester to try to finish early. I ended up doing four spare units which gave me a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Science and I got to do literature which was really good.'
Once he had finished his undergraduate degree, Honours seemed like a natural progression, Wayne says. 'I figured I would keep going and give it a whirl.' He then felt the same about tackling the PhD and was pleased to be awarded a scholarship. Researching small business and social media is set to be the object of Wayne's research and he is currently undertaking the necessary preparation. 'No one is really looking at social media from a small business perspective,' he says. 'I have been thinking about the Geelong region because there are a lot of small businesses here.'
Wayne's decision to do Honours has left him with no regrets. 'It has been amazing - a great experience,' he says. 'We had such a tight knit group, it was a fantastic year.' For him, taking the opportunity to check out different paths has been the key, he adds. 'I was just trying different things, especially in the first couple of years. That is where the trimester system is great, so take some extra subjects if you can,' he advises others.
A particular highlight of Wayne's Honours year was having a paper based on his thesis accepted by the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC). He flew to Christchurch to present the paper to a room of marketing academics at the ANZMAC conference. As he anticipates an academic path, Wayne looks forward to sharing his interests with new students. 'I like getting up in front of students and sharing my passion with them - marketing and communications are my real interests now.'.