Milly Raso hasn’t looked back since she decided to follow her passion for writing and enrolled in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Writing and Publishing.
When Milly Raso finished high school, she recalls being told that writing was a hobby and she wouldn’t be able to make money from writing as a serious job. She decided to study a Bachelor of Advocacy and Mediation at Victoria University.
“While I was studying my law subjects I was pretty miserable. I would sit in lectures writing notes about stories and books I wanted to write. Then during my 4th year, I knew I’d had enough.”
She applied for several writing courses, but it was Melbourne Polytechnic that contacted her and offered a place in the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing.
“I’d applied for it in secret and then had to do the hard task of telling my parents. They just said, ‘It’s about time!’ They always knew writing was my passion.”
With four subjects to go, Milly decided it was time for her to do what she loved.
“Everyone always says why didn’t you just finish it, but if you’re a creative person and you’re trying to do other things, you do drive yourself crazy.”
She immediately relished studying a degree in the TAFE environment.
“It’s a whole different atmosphere studying at TAFE as opposed to university where you attend lectures with hundreds of people and no one talks. Here, you have a small class and every teacher knows you, what you’re into, what you write about, your strengths and weaknesses. It’s more like we’re all writers and publishers.”
Melbourne Polytechnic teacher and published novelist, Amy Espeseth recommended Milly for an Associate Producer internship at the 2013 Emerging Writers Festival.
“The internship was a major and unexpected highlight. I still want to be a writer, but the internship gave me experience in event management, which was valuable.”
Milly found that her teachers were supportive and encouraging, allowing her more flexibility around attending classes and meeting project deadlines during the festival.
“The course doesn’t require you to get an internship, but if you do they embrace that and let it become your priority, because they want you to do well.”
Now in her second year, Milly has overcome other challenges, like dealing with oral presentations and speaking up in workshops.
“This course has taught me to come out of my shell and made me more confident. In the past, I would shake and stutter! It’s unbelievable really, because I could talk in front of a crowd easily these days.”
While Milly doesn’t miss sitting through law lectures, she knows that she can always fall back on her mediation skills.
“In terms of what I learnt, I did love mediation. It took a lot for me to take that jump, but I’m so glad I did. If I stayed in that course, I’d still be that person jotting down story ideas in lectures and shoving them in notebooks under my bed.”
Today, she is passionate about motivating others to follow their dreams.
“As a creative person, the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing is invaluable. There’s so much doubt about getting into any creative field, so many risks involved, but if you’re happy and doing what you love, then you have to let it happen.”
Bachelor of Writing and Publishing