Work Experience the Foundation to an Oscar Win

Angus Wall (left) and Kirk Baxter accept their Oscar for Best Film Editing for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Just this week, Australian film editor Kirk Baxter took home the Oscar for his work on the film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In a recent interview, Baxter credited his Year 11 work experience as a major contributor to finding his true passion – and the one that has now nabbed him the coveted gold statue.

As a 17-year-old school leaver, Baxter caught a break when a production company took him on for work experience.

‘What really changed the course of my life was a program at my high school of work experience,” Baxter says. ”I did one in Year 11 with a production company and I got to go on a shoot and experience all aspects of filmmaking doing a commercial. I absolutely adored it.’

We agree wholeheartedly with Baxter’s statement. In his case, he was lucky he hit the nail on the head with his first venture into the working world. But not everyone’s as lucky. Sometimes it takes a few different bites to find the career that really gets your blood pumping.

Work experience can make or break career choices – and that’s a good thing. So many kids spend years studying for a career only to discover, when they’re in it, that they hate it. You only have to talk to older people to learn how many twists and turns their career paths have taken trying to find out what they really love.

That’s why, at HireMeUp, we believe that work experience is so vital. And we hope our “1000 Jobs in 1000 Hours” campaign will encourage more Australian businesses to step up to the plate and help shape the workers they want knocking on their doors tomorrow.

It’s easy to criticise the next generation, but if you consider them carefully, they’re really not that different from us. The overindulged and self-important mixed in all of our peer groups too, but that’s not to say the whole batch was ruined. And we were also all in their shoes once — asked to make big decisions about our career paths with little to no information.

We believe it’s our responsibility as the older (wiser?) generations to instill the work ethic and values we want to see in the next influx of workers. And what better way than to take a mere two weeks to leave an indelible mark on a young person’s work life?

Big believers in hiring for attitude and training for skill, we’re not putting the focus on grades or course levels, instead we’re encouraging employers to choose their work experience-ers based on raw talent and attitude.

Look at Baxter, he’s a school leaver with an Oscar. While, yes, grades are important, we want to tell kids, especially the ones that struggle in school, that just because you’re not a star pupil, doesn’t mean you’re not going to be a success. If you have the right attitude and seek out the right opportunities, you can be anything you want to be.

Find out more about our “1000 Jobs in 1000 Hours” campaign by visiting

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