Building confidence through experiences like Paddl Games: Sarah Cupitt, Western Sydney University student and "Best Profile" winner

September 02, 2019
By Aaron O'Farrell

Sarah Cupitt is a first year undergraduate student at Western Sydney University where she is studying for a BA in Communications. Paddl first met Sarah at the launch of the Western Paddl Games series in July 2019 with EnergyAustralia. We recently spoke to Sarah to learn more about her experience at the Games and her professional journey so far.

 Hi Sarah. Can you start by telling us more about yourself? What are you studying any why? What are some of your passions, interests and hobbies?

 My name is Sarah Cupitt (pronounced like Que-Pitt). I am an ambitious university student, journalist and writer who's interested in working with people who have amazing stories to tell. I’m secretly always looking for stellar scoops and tend to ask a lot of questions. I’m currently studying for a BA in Communications at Western Sydney University. Whenever I’m not brainstorming ideas or furiously typing away, you'll find me reading, designing, or researching my latest obsessions; Psychology, writing ecologies and ancient history, to name a few. I also love bush walks and photography:)

Sarah with her team at the EnergyAustralia Western Paddl Games in July 2019

Sarah with her team at the EnergyAustralia Western Paddl Games in July 2019

What are your long term goals? Do you want to study more, travel, pursue a career in a specific profession or do you have any other plans?

I used to be that person with their entire life planned out, but now I enjoy living in the moment. Being spontaneous and going with the flow allows me to challenge myself more freely without having to worry about a plan set in stone. At the current stage, I'm content with starting and finishing my current degree and then going straight into the workforce. I wouldn't mind being a Director for Marketing and Communications, a Business executive, a Human relations manager, a Public relations manager, a Marketing executive, a Paralegal or a Writer. I also have my eyes set on working with NGOs for campaign development or potentially even becoming a political advisor. I want to go out into the world, find a story I love, and tell it.

Is it difficult to know what you want to do with your professional life at such a young age? That decision feels so definite and many young people feel a lot of pressure to know. How did you decide upon a BA in Communications and is it something you always wanted to pursue? 

A Bachelor of Communication degree was something that I stumbled upon after I had already planned on studying a Bachelor of business and law or design. During a moment that resembled an epiphany, I realised that it had always been my only option as it would allow me to engage with both theory and creativity. I have three years to try my hand at a whole range of practices, which involve everything from my forte of writing to more uncharted lands like public relations. I want to be somewhere where I can engage with new people, new places, and use the power of words to make a difference.

We first met you at the Western Sydney University EnergyAustralia Paddl Games in July 2019. How would you describe this experience? Have you participated in anything similar before?

 Paddl Games is a brilliant opportunity to get your foot in the door and gain practical and relevant experience working with a significant company. Ultimately the innovation challenge provided me with a new perspective on how to work with companies, and I threw myself into the deep end, but I enjoyed it! Without this experience, I don't think I would've had the courage to apply and secure my first internship for later this year! 

I pride myself on helping people to achieve goals and to enjoy the experience of working with others. When I saw the Paddl Games for the first time, I just had to apply! Apart of me wanted a challenge similar to the Tournament of Minds in my high school days - which this year I'll be on a panel of judges for the competition!

IMG_0784.JPG

Are there any areas of your life, or projects you’re involved in, that are helping you build skills and develop experience that will help you in your professional life?

Over the past several years, I've become more active within my community through various projects and volunteer work. Last year I was presented with the ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership & Teamwork Award to highlight my level of involvement. As I begin my new journey at uni this year, I wish to continue volunteering and challenging myself to become the best person I can be :)

We have a lot more Paddl Games Challenges lined up for Western Sydney University, with our next taking place very soon in September. Will you be applying again, and what would you tell fellow WSU students considering applying?

I'll be applying again for the September Paddl Games, and I'll be looking forward to some new friendly competition. As a first-year student, I believe students need to understand that competitions and challenges like the Paddl games are inclusive to all ages and all disciplines.

You won Best Profile on the day because of your awesome and varied experiences. Do you have any advice for fellow students about the importance of trying new things whilst studying and grasping as many opportunities as possible?

My advice for students is to get out there early and find things that you are passionate about! Transfer that energy into your student life and enjoy the full experience while you can. A quote I like to remember is: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." - Helen Keller

If you are a Western Sydney University student and would like to apply for our next Western Paddl Games with Westpac on September 26th, click here

Paddl Co. takes pride in the positive experiences everyone walks away with from Paddl Games. If you’re looking to build your Experience Profile and expand your professional network through Paddl Games and many other great volunteer, internship, casual or full time opportunities, get started with your profile on paddl.com today! If you are a small business interested in participating, please reach out to caitlin@paddl.co for further information.