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Currently: Competition and Tournaments Administrator, Tennis Victoria
A Deakin commerce degree has allowed Jonathan (Jono) Wong to trade one set of strings for another.
Back in his school days, Jono fancied a career as a professional musician. The passionate violinist headed to the VCA and completed a music degree. But a subsequent year saw him consider a change of direction. 'I took a year off to travel and perform and decided the whole process was not for me,' he explains. 'I have always been passionate about sport as well as music so I started to look at other things.'
While researching his options, Jono discovered Deakin's commerce degree in sport management and decided to give it a try. He headed to the Burwood campus in 2007, electing to take the degree full-time and to major in sport management and facilities management.
After playing tennis socially, then working casually as an umpire, Jono knew where his interests lay and he soon recognised that his studies would serve him up a new career. 'I loved it,' he says of the course. 'It was a nice change from what I had been doing and a good mix of business and sport related subjects.'
Fast forward to 2010 and, after attending an interview in March, Jono obtained his current position with Tennis Victoria. He works alongside two colleagues running tennis tournaments across the state, and particularly enjoys his heavy involvement with the development of junior players. 'I love tennis and I love seeing the next batch of juniors come through,' he says. 'The junior development series events we provide are usually their first experience of competition.'
Jono found the content of his sport management course both enjoyable and practical, and says his new position particularly draws on the skills and knowledge he gained in the communications subjects. 'I have to do a lot of face-to-face and email contact with people like tournament directors,' he says. The presentations I did at uni really helped. We also did group presentations where we worked as a team and they helped prepare me to work with other people.'
While the content of his study helped him gain a thorough understanding of sport in Victoria, Jono also busied himself developing plenty of practical experience. As part of his 120 hours of required work in the field, he volunteered at the Brisbane Tennis International during his final year. 'That really helped me get the job with Tennis Victoria,' he says.
Gaining as much hands-on experience as possible helps you on the path to success in a field like sport management, Jono says. 'Umpiring helped me understand the on-court side of things and I volunteered at the Homeless Soccer World Cup when that was on in Melbourne. Get as much experience as you can while you are studying.'