Degree: Master of Business Administration and Master of Marketing
What influenced your decision to study at this uni?
As an international student, I considered the university’s global recognition so that anything I studied would be recognised here in Australia or overseas and if I moved back home or to another country. I worked as a talent agent in the entertainment industry in my home country of India, so I was specifically looking for a course that combined both business and marketing to pursue further studies and deepen my understanding of the industry.
Tell me more about your role as a talent agent?
I started when I was 21, it was my first job and I still remember the interview. They warned me it wasn’t all ‘glitz and glamour’ but involved a lot of hard work. He said it’d take me up to 7 months to learn and I told him I’d prove myself in 3, which I did. My role involved working mostly with B-list celebrities, securing them roles in films, events and brand endorsements. I worked alongside different teams, including casting, digital, brand sales, live events and publicists. If I felt upcoming roles suited any of my clients, I would negotiate contracts and payments between both parties with my legal team, essentially acting as a middle
My office back home was like a stock market, everybody would be yelling, and the energy was just great with everyone trying to get deals for their actors. Talent agents typically represent multiple clients depending on the workload. If you have an A-list celebrity, then you focus solely on them due to the level of time and investment needed. My favourite part was getting to sit and interact with so many creative people. Their concepts and event ideas you’d never even think of or experience in a ‘normal’ role. I learnt a lot in that job and remind myself often that if I could handle all those clients, I can do anything.
What is your end goal?
Even though the structure is different here, I am still interested in working with agencies that represent movie talents, however, I understand that the music culture in Australia is big, so I wouldn’t mind working with bands or live performers either. I graduate in July 2024 and plan to keep reaching out to entertainment companies here in Australia. I would also be interested in marketing for a luxury Australian apparel brand, one with a mass market that is sustainable and doing right by the environment.
Will you stick around in Aus?
I haven’t really explored the Australian market yet; I’d like to stick around and learn more about it. I spent some time in the Middle East as a child, doing schooling in Dubai. I’m fond of the glamour and prestige in the Middle Eastern market which is heavily influenced by the west. I would love to integrate and network my contacts between all three markets and potentially bring many Indian and Middle Eastern celebrities here to Australia.
Do you have any advice for other students?
I can’t believe I’m saying this because I love going out and meeting people but go to your classes and stay in touch with your Course Coordinators. There will come times when you’re overwhelmed and may need an extra day or two for assessments. If they know you and see you trying, they will be more likely to say “sure, why not!”
Also, don’t get overwhelmed, you have dreams and aspirations, they made you decide to move to another country or start something new. Whether you’re 40 or married with 2 kids, put your head down, focus and do your best. Don’t stress about what’s to come. I’ve been there, I’ve felt overwhelmed and thought what am I doing? Coming from an industry with a great salary, travelling all over the world, staying in the best hotels then coming here to mow lawns and work in a convenience store. These opportunities have changed me as a person and my outlook on life. Take it all in, have fun, be respectful, grateful, helpful and true to yourself. I believe everyone has potential.
You can find more information about the Master of Business Administration and watch an interview about Nikhil’s journey here.