Thomas Antonie

Thomas Antonie

Bachelor of Commerce (Honours)

Current position
Business Analyst, Forethought Research

I chose my VCE subjects to set course for a business career; economics, legal, maths. But I gave myself an interest and mental-release through psychology. Naïve but ambitious, I had no idea that psych would shape my career choice.

Embarking on a Monash Commerce degree in 2014, I stayed the broad course tackling the power subjects - accounting, economics and law. Yet thankfully, I discovered 'Principles of Marketing' which intrigued me with its perfect blend of business strategy and psychology. And so, the door to marketing began to open.

Marketing Science was my first major. My effort invested in studying marketing was absolute and resulted pleasing academic results, including top student in Buyer Behaviour and Marketing Channels. For my family, walking down the street became a tutorial in marketing communications evaluation as I dangerously became a ‘sample of one’, critiquing every advertisement in my path.

With little knowledge of the marketing industry, I realised obtaining real world experience would be important to accelerate my development. I believed advertising might be an interesting start, so secured an internship at agency CHE Proximity, and another at McCann Melbourne via the Monash IBL program. These internships allowed me to contrast two vastly different styles of utilising data and insights. The experience confirmed that marketing was the right path, but that I valued rigour and robust data as an input to decision making. This led me to rethink my ongoing studies to better prepare me for business. But more on that later.

"This is my story of how I grew from a naive and confused high school student with an interest in psychology and business into a determined, passionate and proud data driven marketer."

Whilst at University, I remained involved in my other passions. I maintained a committee role at Peninsula Surfriders Club, an organisation that mentored me to my goal of competing at nationals, and one where I had the skills and capability to give back. Using my developing marketing capabilities, I helped shape the strategic direction of the club, organising fund-raising events and implementing strategies to attract and retain members.

Via this network I volunteered at Disabled Surfers Association of Australia which allowed me to help others gain confidence and experience the joy and freedom of the surf. To grow my professional network, I leveraged opportunities such as the Monash mentor program, leadership certificates, networking/social events (MMSS). Invited to participate in Monash’s Leadership Principles and Practices in Italy, I developed awareness of my values, attitudes and leadership styles.

With a greater sense of self, I invested in building professional experience. I participated in the Monash Global Study Program in Marketing, engaging with brands including Google, Amazon and Kantar WPP. This confirmed how essential data is to deliver evidence-based insights and inform decision making. Combining these learnings with the internships, I returned home with a clear vision for my future; a successful data driven marketer solving complex marketing problems for clients.

So, I redrafted my plan. I started part-time in data visualisation at Forethought Research, with the aim of joining the Grad program in a firm with a pure focus on marketing science and evidence-based decisions. I reviewed my education to focus on subjects that would equip me with the ability to act on data and prepare me to do Honours at Monash.

I undertook extra-curricular classes to attain a Google Analytics certificate. Completing my undergraduate degree in 2017, my efforts in marketing science, statistics and economics resulted in being awarded Monash’s Honours Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Performance.

In 2018 I balanced Honours with part-time work at Forethought; despite being advised to focus on study, I was keen to maintain relationships at the firm to help secure a spot in the 2019 graduate program. The Honours program shaped me into a creative, critical thinking scholar, and through my thesis The Moderating Role of Legal Enforcement on Marketing Strategy to Improve Brand Value I further developed a passion for delivering data driven and actionable insights to clients.

Although the year was challenging, I was motivated by a clear career goal in marketing, and this resulted in achieving First Class Honours, Deans’ Honours List, and a career start at Forethought. Today I am proud to live and breathe marketing science with confidence built on academic foundations and growing professional capabilities to that drive positive commercial outcomes for my clients. Four years of effort ensuring an ambition was realised. Yet this is only the beginning of my marketing journey.

So, this is my story of how I grew from a naive and confused high school student with an interest in psychology and business into a determined, passionate and proud data-driven marketer. I have Monash to largely thank for this transformation as it has provided me with vast opportunity to not only realise my passion and desire to work in market research but to also achieve a far greater level of self-awareness.

Since joining Forethought Research, I have already been given the opportunity to act as lead consultant on multiple national and international projects for global companies. To date, I have worked collaboratively with clients such as Cambridge OET, CSL Behring, ViiV Healthcare, ahm Health Insurance, Molemap, BMS and Apotex to deliver evidence based insights and strategy to achieve my client's desired business outcomes.

I find it extremely rewarding that I can now represent Forethought at Monash networking events and tell my story to help current students understand the field of marketing science and make career choices to accelerate their personal and professional development.

It is a privilege to explain how the vast opportunities offered by Monash were vital in my current professional journey as they were what opened my eyes to not only a greater level of self-awareness, but what I wanted to do once I took a step into the real world.

Further down the road, I would love to do this is on a much greater scale by having enough influence on the marketing industry to one day be invited to mentor or speak at Monash Business School’s Excellence Awards night. As I know from experience, many guest speakers at these events such as Ken Roberts and John Ziegler can help inspire a whole room to pursue a career in marketing.