Pursuing her passion for people

Growing up in Queensland as the daughter of a heavy diesel fitter and mechanic, Anthea Martin always thought she’d end up working in the mining industry.

“My father worked in the mines all through my school years,” says Anthea, who was raised on the southside of Brisbane.

“Over the years, he’s done all sorts of contract work as a leading hand with big companies, always dealing with people in human resource management (HRM). As a schoolkid and a teenager, being exposed to that through him, I found that business and recruitment really interested me, and I had this idea that I’d go on to work as an HR manager in mining.”

But after graduating from high school, Anthea chose to steer away from business and HRM, instead opting to study sports science.

“I really love sport, so I decided to go on a different path,” she says.

Before long, however, Anthea felt herself being drawn back to business as an area of study.

“I soon realised that the subjects I enjoyed most at high school were the business subjects. That, coupled with my father’s experience dealing with people in HR and recruitment, it provided a real foundation for my love of business.”

Anthea then decided to enrol in ACU’s Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Business Administration, a double-degree designed for future business leaders.

While this subject area was more in line with her interests, she still took time to find her feet.

“It was challenging at times,” says Anthea, who completed her degree in 2021, majoring in HRM and marketing.

“I found all of it really interesting, but it was probably only in my final year of study, when I started to do strategic management and sustainability in HR, that I really felt drawn to a particular area I wanted to pursue in my career.”

This led Anthea to a professional placement with Adecco, a global recruitment firm with a network of 15 offices across Australia.

Adecco is one of more than a dozen industry partners that are part of the Peter Faber Business School’s Future Ready program, the work-integrated learning scheme designed to help students build their experience, professional identity and job-ready skills.

Research shows that when students engage in work-integrated learning, not only do they integrate their theoretical knowledge with practical experience in the workplace, but they also develop strong occupational and professional links.

“The internship at Adecco was a great experience and a great help to me and my career,” says Anthea, who started her placement in Brisbane in early 2021.

“I was mentored by a few different people within the company, in national accounts and recruitment and other areas of the business, and I guess that has given me networking opportunities and exposure to lots of different aspects of recruitment in a range of blue-collar and white-collar industries.”

It has also helped to solidify her desire to work in human resource management. 

“I guess I’ve had the opportunity to see in practice that HRM isn’t just recruitment, it has lots of different aspects,” Anthea says.

“I also work in employee relations and organisational development, and I help to run training programs, and I’ve found there are many different areas that really interest me within HR. It’s different every single day, and that makes it exciting, but the thing I love most is that you’re dealing with people, and it’s the people element that I’m really passionate about.”

Anthea was such a good fit at Adecco that, at the end of her professional placement, she was offered full-time role there, along with several other ACU students who undertook work-integrated learning with the company.

Having now completed her degree and launched her career in the industry, she can reflect on how far she’s come. 

“I definitely don’t think I’m the same person I was at the start of my internship,” says Anthea, who now works with Adecco’s Adelaide branch. 

“Getting this industry experience has allowed me to grow, to build my own knowledge, skills and capabilities, and to put all the things I learned in the classroom at ACU into practice in a real-world workplace.”

As for her long-term plans, Anthea has a goal to become a leader in the recruitment sector. And yes, a job in the mining industry is definitely on the cards.

“In a few years, further down the track, I’d really love to use my skills in HR with a mining company,” she says. “But right now, I’m focused on learning and building myself up here at Adecco, working closely with colleagues and clients to get the best result possible for everyone involved.” 

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