Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Managing Your Profile: Online and Offline

Thomas TudehopeSocial media expert Thomas Tudehope told Warrane residents to be very careful of anything they placed online on sites like Facebook, when he spoke at the College on April 4, 2012.

Thomas is an Old Boy of the College who came to prominence by raising the online profile of the then Liberal Party leader Mr Malcolm Turnbull.

He said even if a person felt that their security settings on a social networking site like Facebook were secure, it was impossible to ensure that their material could not be accessed by the wider world.

“About 70 per cent of Facebook is publicly available,” he said.

And even where the rest was concerned, all it would take was for a malicious “friend” to take a screen shot of a Facebook page and it could be stored away to be used at a later date.

Thomas encouraged residents to use their time at College well, taking advantage of all the opportunities that were offered to expand their horizons and to help others.

He said it was fine “living on the edge”, doing things like skydiving, but it was the things that involved learning and helping others that would have a long-term impact on their lives.

“When you study or you do something for someone else it will have a much more lasting impact,” he said.

When he was in College he found there were three types of residents – those who treated the College like a hotel and didn’t interact with anyone else; those who saw more in it but still rarely went out of their way to get involved; and those who made the best of the opportunities that were available.

“If you do get involved in College life it will have a much more lasting impact on your lives,” he said.

“I have found that the deeper friendships I made in College have lasted a long time.”

Thomas said that he managed to get his job with Malcolm Turnbull and other jobs, not because of his university results, his CV or any personal connections, but because of the extra-curricular things he had been involved in.

“The point is that when someone looks at your CV they are not looking at every subject you did, but things like the volunteer work you did…

“I have found that when you go out to get a job, or when I have interviewed other people for a job, most of the conversations in interviews doesn’t revolve around technical skills or academic marks, but who you are as a person and where you fit with the firm.

“If you can’t say you have been involved in X, Y and Z, it may potentially stop you getting a job. It really helps if you can say you have been involved in a work camp, in sports or in cultural things.”

Thomas said much of the work that he does through his own online consultancy firm involves dealing with cyberbullying – something that he said was now out of control.

The Public Relations Institute of Australian and the Walkley Foundation have recognised Thomas’s work in digital activism and cyber bullying.

He regularly appears as a commentator on all TV networks on a range of issues, including social networking, politics and the media, and is a regular contributor to opinion sites The Drum and The Punch.

(Photos from the event are available here. A podcast is available on Warrane's iTunes Channel)