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Embarking on a career journey in the dynamic world of motorsport takes more than just a love for speed – it requires a blend of passion, education, and real-world experience. But for many university graduates, it’s not always just about simply working hard and putting pedal to the metal that gets you across the finish line and to your career goals.
For Deakin University Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) graduate Carly Wardell, it was about taking each hurdle as it came, navigating course choices and accelerating her career through a hands-on internship with Motorsport Australia.
‘I was interested in pursuing a career in the motorsport industry and, at the time, I wasn’t completely sure on a specific area I wanted to specialise in’, which is why Carly chose to rise to the challenge to study a Bachelor of Sports Management at Deakin University.
For Carly, motorsport was her calling, but the specifics of how she was going to get there were a puzzle.
‘I thought Sport Management would be a solid degree to gain a variety of skills [in sport] and Deakin stood out to me,’ she says, especially when it came to their online program, which had a ‘high reputation’ and gave her a lot of flexibility to study in between her fluctuating work schedule.
As a motorsport enthusiast from Lismore, New South Wales, Carly was impressed by Deakin’s well-established online learning resources, which helped to bridge the geographical constraints following the 2022 Lismore floods.
‘Studying online at Deakin was a great option for me due to where I was situated geographically. I headed down to Melbourne for my internship this year in March and once I gained employment at Motorsport Australia I moved down to Melbourne within a week,’ she says.
Fueling her fervor for motorsport, Carly was thrilled to secure an internship at Motorsport Australia, which helped put her on the front foot of her learning and taught her how to apply the theory she’d learned from her sport and events management unit at university.
‘I am a big enthusiast of all things motorsport. I regularly attend motorsport events around Australia and have volunteered at a variety of Australian motorsport events to gain experience within the industry,’ she says, which allowed her to seamlessly become part of the Motorsport Australia team at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Accelerating towards triumph with industry-ready courses, Deakin’s Sport Management degree played a starring role.
‘I was able to add real life examples to university theory and experience the daily tasks within a sporting organisation, which has prepared me for working in a full-time role in the industry,’ she says.
For those revving up for a career in sport management, Carly’s advice is key: ‘I learnt to go into a task with an open mind and to put my hand up for any opportunities that arose. The Sport team at Deakin has given me opportunities to connect with others in the industry who have helped me prepare for my current role,’ she says.
For those who have an idea about their ideal industry, but are unclear about which road to take, Carly recommends Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities to, as they’ll ‘give you experience in the industry in a range of areas.’
As Carly zooms ahead, she plans to explore every twist and turn of the motorsport industry to help her pinpoint her perfect role.
‘I’m looking to continue learning different aspects of the industry to help me understand the area I want to specialise in. A full-time role in my area within the motorsport industry is where I am aiming,’ she says.
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