Bridging the digital media gap

Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), 2006

When Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) graduate, Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl, first came to Australia, she dreamed of doing something ‘different’. Today, thanks to her experience at Western Sydney University, she helps people connect with others and places that exist in both the digital world – and beyond.

A quick glance at Sophia’s LinkedIn profile would reveal a CV of job titles such as Coach, Management Consultant, Business Development Manager and Founder of her own company, Dream Internship, which connects interns with companies. Dream Internship’s main purpose is to optimise career profiles based on behavioural styles and deliver innovative programs for educational institutions. To date, the company has facilitated internships and ongoing employment for more than 3,000 people.

Working closely with employers across the world, Sophia noticed the increase of digital technology in the workplace. When it comes to understanding the impact of digital technology in the architectural industry, Sophia says there is now an expectation for marketers, engineers and especially architects to learn and use complex software in order to do their job. For graduates entering the industry it would be a natural evolution, but for industry professionals it has meant a steep learning curve to combine traditional expertise with new expectations.

‘If you’re very strong in some programs, you can add a lot to a business – but some people who are more established are not as comfortable with using technology,’ she says. ‘This is why a young person with technical skills can become a huge asset to any architectural business.’

Sophia’s top tip for any person starting out with an interest in digital media is to learn how to use digital media platforms for work, and not just for fun. Building personal and professional blogs, and taking more responsibility for starting initiatives, is a positive foundation that can serve you well in an ever-changing workforce, where people will be jumping between roles more than ever before.

‘Now there are so many different platforms and so much happening, with the fast-paced evolution of digital media there is a widening communication gap between the generations,’ says Sophia. ‘By communicating with all of the different people in your life – from your grandmother to your 11-year-old tech-savvy niece – you can gain some positive insights into the digital media comprehension of a diverse range of people, and learn how to bridge that communication gap between staff, clients and audiences to further your brand.’

ENDS

31 August 2018

Words by: Claire Halliday

Photo by: Sally Tsoutas

Rosemary Sargeant,Communications Coordinator, Alumni