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Bec leads team to online marketing success

Women on stage holding trophy
Rebecca McSwiney has been named Queensland's Young Manager of the Year.
The University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) online marketing team is a dedicated group of professionals, each day improving the social media experience of students around the world.

The team’s innovation and service is award-winning, and now another gong can be added to their haul.

USQ Associate Director (Online Marketing) Rebecca McSwiney was named the State’s Young Manager of the Year at the Australian Institute of Management's annual Excellence Awards in Brisbane earlier this month (September 11).

It followed Ms McSwiney taking out the local title, being named Toowoomba’s Young Manager of the Year a week earlier for her outstanding work at USQ.

“Winning the award was overwhelming and very lovely to be recognised by such a high calibre group of business and industry leaders,” she said.

“I also had an opportunity to network with those leading managers and directors, not to mention the other finalists – such fantastic talents.”

Ms McSwiney has worked for USQ for nine years, the past four spent in digital marketing. She is also a USQ alumni, graduating with a Bachelor of Business in 2008.

Under Ms McSwiney’s leadership, the Online Marketing Team has developed and launched USQ Social Hub, as well produced the interactive magazine, HeyU.

She said her award was a reflection of the quality of her team.

“It’s been a huge couple of years for the team. We’ve been quite successful with the support of Executive Director Helen Nolan and the USQ senior executive,” Ms McSwiney said.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without their trust and understanding of the opportunities that exist for the University to engage in the social media space.

“I am extremely grateful to work with such a vibrant and enthusiastic group of people who are really supportive and also really willing to give things a go.”

The hard work has paid off with a string of awards for USQ Marketing in recent years including:
• Council for Advancement and Support of Education 2015 Circle of Excellence Public and Communication Relations Project Silver Award for USQ Change Makers;
• Australian Marketing Institute: 2014 Marketing Excellence Queensland Winner - Content Marketing;
• Content Marketing Institute: 2014 Content Marketing Awards: Gold Award - Best Educational Publication and Honourable Mention - Best School/University Publication; and,
• Association of Commonwealth Universities: 2013 PR, Marketing and Communication Award- Outreach and Community Relations.

Ms McSwiney said she was very proud of the work done by the Online Marketing team in the area of student engagement and student experience.

“With over 70 percent of our students studying online, there a huge component of the student population who don’t have the opportunity to come on campus and meet people,” she said.

“Through social media they can have that sense of belonging by communicating with staff and classmates, and gain information (like study tips and how to reference in assignments).

“We absolutely love hearing from our students, whether it’s seeing ‘I just got accepted to university’ messages or, like recently, celebrations about graduations.

“Being able to share and amplify that USQ pride is really powerful and so rewarding. It ties back to giving that education experience to such a diverse and wide range of students.”

Students can talk with staff and learn more about University activities at the USQ Social Hub via www.usq.edu.au/socialhub.