Successful Australians who didn’t go to university
Many of us have heard the saying “Cs get you degrees”. But does a degree actually get you a job?
More and more university graduates are falling into part-time work, with nearly one in three saying they are struggling to find full-time work after they graduate. With job prospects for university graduates looking less secure than ever, is it really worth spending three-plus years and tens of thousands of dollars for a certificate that might not even land you a job? These four successful Australians don’t think so. From starting global corporations to running some of Australia’s best restaurants, these successful Australians prove you don’t need a degree to make it big.
JANINE ALLIS – FOUNDER OF BOOST JUICE
Jane Allis started her $200million Boost Juice empire from her home in Adelaide. Like many young people, she wanted to travel around the world rather than go sit in a university classroom all day. Then in 2000, without a business degree, she decided to start selling smoothies. Less than two decades later, Boost Juice has over 500 stores across 16 countries. She also owns Mexican food chain Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and coffee shop franchise Cibo Espresso. Jane really is evidence that you don’t need a degree to land an amazing career in business.
MIA FREEDMAN – COSMOPOLITAN’S YOUNGEST EVER EDITOR AT AGE 24
Dropping out of her Communications degree in her early 20s, Mia Freedman thought her career in media would go nowhere. That was until she started doing work experience at Cleo magazine. She quickly rose up the ranks to become Cleo’s Beauty Editor and completed a variety of freelance work for Marie Claire and Who Weekly. In 1996, at the age of 24, Mia became the Editor of Australian Cosmopolitan magazine, making her the youngest editor of Cosmo ever. Mia, later on, founded the online publisher Mammamia, which is worth an estimated $80million. Mia’s career is proof that through hard work and dedication, you can crack it in the media industry without a Communication or Journalism degree.
SHANNON BENNETT – CELEBRITY CHEF AND HEAD CHEF AT VUE DE MONDE
The kitchen can be a cut-throat place, but to become a good chef, it’s all about hard work. Shannon Bennett is a world-renowned chef who dropped out of his Essendon high school at the age of 16. While working at McDonald’s, Shannon realised how much he loved making food. His uncle got him a foot in the door in the restaurant world, and he quickly completed an apprenticeship at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Shannon then travelled and cooked across Europe, before returning to Melbourne to open his first restaurant, Vue de Monde, at just 24! Not only is he running a bustling kitchen, but Vue de Monde has gone on to become one of Australia’s premier fine dining restaurants. Shannon has also written eight best-selling culinary books and repeatedly appeared as a guest judge on MasterChef Australia. What an achievement!
MARC FENNELL – RADIO PERSONALITY AND TELEVISION PRESENTER
Marc Fennell is a beloved presenter on SBS and the ABC, but most people will remember him as the voice of That Movie Guy on Triple J’s weekly movie review segment. After dropping out eight weeks into his Media & Arts Production course at UTS, Marc joined the SBS youth show The Movie Show. Instead of sitting in class all day then hitting the uni pub, Marc was able to learn on the job and gained invaluable experience as a TV presenter. Marc has forged a bright career in the media industry, from presenting various shows on public broadcasters, hosting the top-rated technology podcast Download This Show, appearing as a film critic on commercial networks, and playing a big role in presenting shows for SBS Viceland. All of this from someone barely over the age of 30! He may not be where he is now if he had to sit through four years of boring tutorials.