Manager Public Relations l Newcastle Permanent Building Society
Having spent the last decade working as the Marketing & Communications Manager at Newcastle Airport, Rebecca Wilson is an amazing Alumni of Hunter Young Professionals and an impressive individual. We recently caught up with her just as she was announcing a career change of her own to the Newcastle Permanent.
Why did you join HYP and what have you gained from that?
I originally started going to HYP events to represent the company that I was working for and to ‘network’. I joined the board as both a learning opportunity, but also to give back to my business community. Little did I know then that my fellow HYP members would become my friends and be important business and personal contacts for me more than a decade later!
Can you explain your career trajectory?
From the outside my career path has been pretty straightforward. But, to me it’s been a web of decisions and taking opportunities when they were presented to me.
I’ve been fortunate to collaborate for some high profile organisations in my full-time paid roles at Newcastle Airport, NUsport, and Sparke Helmore. However, I supplemented these paid roles with what I call extra-curricular activities, which have included holding the role of Vice President of HYP, Chair of HMRI’s PULSE Committee, teaching on the marketing courses at TAFE, and formally mentoring University of Newcastle students. These extra activities have taught me so much about myself and about others—so much more than just my nine to five jobs could have.
After spending a decade with Newcastle Airport and leading the marketing and communication for that organisation, I’m really excited for the next chapter of my career working with the team at another iconic organisation, the Newcastle Permanent Building Society.
Do you have or have you had Mentors?
Yes! Both formal and informal. I engaged a formal coach a few years ago who really challenged my thinking about myself, my ability, and pushed me further than I thought I could go. It was one of the best investments I’ve ever made in myself.
I’ve also had a stack of informal mentors, who over a simple cup of coffee or at networking events provide nuggets of advice. Sometimes this advice has hit me like a brick, and other times the advice has dawned on me much later. However the advice has appeared, it has been invaluable.
What’s your biggest goal for the future and how do you get there?
Wow! That’s a big one. If we’re taking big goals, then for me it’s having the financial freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.
How do you find out about job opportunities?
For me it’s more about knowing what’s going on in my industry locally. I have job alerts set up, I stay in contact with key stakeholders, and my network keep me in the loop about upcoming opportunities.
What has kept you in Newcastle?
While I have loved my work here, without doubt it’s been my family that has kept me in Newcastle.
Is there a normal work day and what does it look like?
Haha! Do these exist? Working in marketing and public relations, a lot of my work is project-based and very varied. One day I can be sitting at a computer completely absorbed in writing an annual report, the next day I could be on the phone providing extra information to journalists about a news item we’ve released, and then on another day it could be all about working with our agencies for artwork for tv ads—cue the creative juices!
What do you do when you’ve had a bad day?
Exercise. Nothing gets rid of those bad day feels like a run or gym session.
What’s something people might not know about you?
I’m about to get my motorbike licence
Hot tips on structuring your week?
My friends, family, and colleagues know, if it’s not in my calendar, it isn’t going to happen. I live my life by my calendar. The reminders are a great prompt for when I’m busy and having a schedule not only helps me manage my work day, but it also means I set aside dedicated time each day for exercise and time during the week to catch up with family and friends.