As one of VU’s first Block Model graduates, Emilia Ambrogio never expected to find herself in such an exciting, vibrant workplace so early in her career. Overcoming early uncertainty, she’s now excited to pursue her passion for human resources thanks to her business degree, which she describes as life changing.
“After school, I studied speech pathology at another institution. I felt pressured to ‘use up’ my ATAR, but it soon became clear that I’d chosen the wrong career path.
With my confidence bruised, I left uni and got what I hoped would be an uncomplicated office job. It was the many positive interactions I had with human resources (HR) at that organisation that motivated me to return to study and pursue it as a career.
Several business schools offered me places, but I chose VU because I’d heard about the Block Model. It involves studying one unit at a time in four-week blocks so you can focus better and have more of a life outside of uni. I enrolled in VU’s Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management/Marketing) which appealed to both my creativity, and desire to enable people and organisations to thrive.
I completed my work-integrated learning placement at VU’s industry partner Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) – remotely due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Working with FCAC, I learned how to incorporate a lot of ‘me’ into my work, and it showed me how important art is in bringing communities together. It was amazing that even during lockdown I felt so included and valued, and I was thrilled that my placement led to an ongoing position.
Recently I gained a full-time role as an employment coordinator at a construction company. Engaging with people and encouraging them to work as a community rather than a hierarchy is my dream. I believe this approach makes happy employees – and happy employees do good work!
My degree has been life changing. My advice to others? Don’t force yourself into a career you don’t love just because it’s expected of you. You might start to think you’re not intelligent or studious – but it could be that you haven’t experienced what you love doing.”