Jessica Humphreys

Jessica Humphreys

Jessica Humphreys

  • Year completed 2012
  • Current position Co-Founder/Communications Director for Oraco Agency
  • Degree(s) Bachelor of Media Communication

Career summary

After graduating from Monash with a Bachelor of Communication and Public Relations (Hons), Jessica started in web based public relations for Peninsula Health, which then launched her into a career of social media communications. She is now the Co-Founder and Communications Director of Oraco Agency, a communications agency that helps build small brands into forward-thinking businesses. Jessica has also worked as a sessional Lecturer for Monash in communications and social media.

Career pathway

2018 - Co-Founder/Communications Director for Oraco Agency
2014 - Sessional Lecturer in Social Media and Online Public Relations at Federation University
2014 - Campaign Manager at Sentius Digital
2014 - Sessional Lecturer at Monash University
2013 - Director at Social Concepts Consulting
2012 - Public Relations Officer for Media and Web at Peninsula Health
2012 - Graduated Bachelor of Communications and Public Relations with Honours.

Can you talk a little bit about your experience at Monash and your course?

I came into my degree as a mature age student, after having tried a few different degrees that weren’t for me and working full time for a while. Once I decided I wanted to go into PR, I did some unpaid internships and then returned to university to study what I wanted to pursue as a career.

Would you recommend that students have a goal before heading to university to start studying?

I definitely think you should have a goal. I think that’s why for me it didn’t really work at the start, because I couldn’t see where I would end up. I was the first person in my family to finish high school, let alone go to university. I moved out of home at 18 and was self-sufficient, so for me, uni was about creating a lifestyle that would lead me to where I want to be.

That’s why I don’t regret going to uni three times. Even when everyone in my life thought I would quit again, each time made me stronger and moved me closer towards the career I really wanted.

When I got into the Communications degree at Monash, it was like everything clicked into place. I truly loved my studies and felt really sad when I finished. I still hope to study more in the future, purely because I enjoy it.

What skills did your degree at Monash give you that you have been able to apply to your work and career?

My degree helped me to learn how to think analytically and critically. The subject that stands out in my mind is Ethics, Law and Policy. It taught me to see the world in a new way, and that things were not necessarily black and white. I think it also stood out to me because it was so much fun. It was almost like a little bit of a debate in tutorials. Everyone had different opinions and that was a good thing – critical thought was encouraged.

Can you explain to future students what your role as a Communications Director of your own business looks like day to day?

As the Communications Director and Founder, I work in all sides of things. Our business is set up in two sections: communications and creative. I head up the communications side, where I have three staff who report directly to myself. I am responsible for managing the day-to-day communications with clients, project management and any communications based projects, such as social media campaigns. At the moment, we are managing 11 clients’ social media.

My days usually start quite early. I spend around half an hour trawling the media to make sure that I am up to date with anything that’s happening. Then it’s on to team management. We have meetings every day to keep up to date with projects and exchange advice. I’d say at least once a day we also brainstorm to help us with putting together new campaigns. We are a small team, so being a team player is very important.

Would you have any advice for students on how to be prepared to adapt to any changes in the industry?

At Monash Arts, you’re taught to be proactive as well as reactive. Being able to change means being able to adapt and evolve. You need to be flexible. It’s a way of thinking creatively when you approach a problem or situation.

I also advise being across things and consuming media and podcasts so you can be a part of the conversation. Current affairs and even pop culture have a really big impact on the communications industry.

Additionally, make the most of every opportunity you can find, whether that’s a digital conference or doing the work to keep your network alive.

I think the best advice I can give is that you get out of your degree what you put in. University is an opportunity. I lived and breathed it. I was just so excited to learn every day. You need to put everything into it to get the most out of it.

Written by Monash Arts Journalism student, Jasmine Vermeer, 2020