POUGHKEEPSIE - And you thought admission to Marist was competitive. Senior communication major Brittany MacLeod has a new appreciation for beating the odds after being chosen as one of only 25 finalists from around the world from a pool of 600,000 applicants vying to be Tourism Australia’s Chief Funster for Sydney, Australia. The dream job calls for the successful candidate to review festivals and events, Tweet about Sydney, and generally be a VIP about town in Australia’s largest city.
MacLeod is in the home stretch, Tweeting, posting to Facebook and her blog, taking photos, and making videos as part of her Send BMAC Down Under campaign. Her love of Australia goes back to stories from family members who’d vacationed there.
"I still remember all the stories they told about Australia and how beautiful it is but more importantly how awesome the people are," Brittany said. "My grandmother told me how nice the Australians are and how they are a ‘happy and bright people.’ She told me that I would fit right in."
To meet Brittany - or watch her videos, read her Tweets, etc. - is to see how right her grandmother was. As School of Management Dean Elmore Alexander wrote in his letter of recommendation to the contest selection committee, "If you’re looking to be bowled-over by creativity, passion, and commitment, you have no option but to Send BMAC Down Under and select Brittany MacLeod as your Chief Funster. As large as the United States is, we struggle to corral Brittany’s talent and enthusiasm within our borders. I have no doubt she can fill Australia in a fashion unlike you have ever experienced."
Unlike MacLeod, many of her competitors are professionals already working in the travel, media, and entertainment fields, making her success thus far even more impressive. As a communication major with a concentration in advertising and a business minor who works as a social media coordinator for the Marist Admissions Office, Brittany was a natural to undertake a global social media campaign.
"With my Send BMAC Down Under social media campaign, I am showing that I am capable, passionate, and detail oriented," she says. "I think you can see how passionate I am about becoming the Chief Funster, and you can see how many people believe in me and want me to get this position."