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Preparation key to success

With a Law degree well underway, Richmond’s Ty Vickery was joined by recent Financial Planning diploma graduate, Carlton’s Brock Mclean at The Age VCE and Careers Expo on Saturday to chat to future La Trobe University students about the benefits of study and goal setting.

Whilst the La Trobe booth at the event was buzzing with current students giving prospective students the low-down on the various course offerings of the Uni, Vickery and McLean joined the head of Sport Journalism, senior lecturer David Lowden, in a seminar focused on the extensive Sport disciplines taught under the La Trobe Sport banner.

Juggling footy and study can be tough, but both Ty and Brock said that they enjoy the break from the game that study provides and the work-life balance that hitting the books offers.

“If you look at any successful person in life, whether it be sport or business, they don’t just get there by accident or by fluke” – Brock McLean

“Football these days can be so intense, it’s great to have the day off and do something different to forget footy for a while,” said McLean, adding that since wrapping up his studies last year, he’s obtained his stockbrokers license and begun an internship as a Financial Analyst.

For Vickery study is a long-term prospect, fitting in one to two subjects each year and slotting in the occasional summer subject where pre-season training can permit.

“Full-time it would be a four year course, but I’ll be pretty happy to finish it within about nine,” he laughs.

Treating the young audience to some insights into the life of both an AFL player and student, Vickery and McLean told the crowd that it’s been important for them to set goals to achieve and to be focused on preparation.

“It’s always good to set goals. If you look at any successful person in life, whether it be sport or business, they don’t just get there by accident or by fluke. They’re prepared to work hard and they’re patient,” McLean said.

“I think that’s really important, you often see a lot of kids come into the system these days and they want to be the best player straight away. Reality says that’s not going to happen.”

Highlighting just how much of a business sport has become, Lowden explained that La Trobe offers degrees in sport business, journalism, physio, podiatry, nutrition, dietetics and more, meaning that graduates find themselves at some of Australia’s leading sporting organisations and within the businesses and roles that provide extensive supporting services to sport.

Striving to be the number one sport university in Australia, La Trobe has partnered with an impressive network of sporting organisations, including the AFL Players’ Association, to derive great outcomes in research, student placement and learning.

Speaking to prospective students, Lowden also discussed the importance of being persistent in the event that things don’t always go to plan.

“Nothing is wasted in life either, if you learn something and you realise it’s not for you, there will be skills that you learnt there that will come in handy for sure,” he said.

McLean echoed Lowden’s comments, telling students “Don’t panic if you don’t know what you want to do just yet. You might find in a theoretical sense you might be really loving the class and then get out into the field and you’re like, this isn’t exactly what I thought it would be.”

“You’ve got to be prepared to roll your sleeves up and work hard but you’ve got to be patient at the same time because it doesn’t just happen overnight. Also, be prepared to fail. A lot of the time things aren’t going to go your way and you might have the best laid out plans but very rarely do people go on to have the smoothest transition throughout their careers.”

La Trobe University is the AFL Players’ Association Official Higher Education Partner.  For more information on the courses offered at La Trobe visit

The Age VCE and Careers Expo is a four-day event which offers prospective students a wealth of information about course and career options.  Visit for more information.