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Stephanie Hutchinson

In 2006, as a struggling single parent of three young children and no set career path, I decided to enrol in a small business management course at TAFE Joondalup. Whilst completing the course, I developed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a passion for Marketing as my preferred field of study. I therefore went on to complete Advanced Diplomas in both Management and Marketing, as a pathway into Edith Cowan University (ECU) to obtain a Business Degree. Six years later and I have a Bachelor of Business Honours Degree in Marketing and, along with a generous APA Scholarship from ECU, I am finally well on my way to achieving my goal of completing a PhD.

Throughout my time at both TAFE and ECU I have researched, planned and developed several interesting projects. These projects have given me the opportunity to work alongside some fantastic people of diverse ages, cultures and areas of study, and to gain immense knowledge in a variety of subjects, which in turn have shaped the path I am now on. I still believe my “Mint Chupa Chup”, my “Gym and Swim Pack” or even my “Talk & Type” voice recognition system would have made me millions had I pursued them right through from the research and development stage to seeing them on the shelves in shops. However, my research career steered me on to a different and so far more satisfying journey as a PhD candidate.

My PhD is concerned with the posting behaviour of members of virtual brand communities, and will give Marketers and Academics a better insight into what motivates people to become so involved with online forums. My supervisors, Dr Madeleine Ogilvie and Dr Claire Lambert, have given me the encouragement and support to take on an area of research that is still relatively new and yet has the potential to change the focus of traditional marketing strategies. I hope that once I have completed my PhD I can go on to a career in Academia as a Lecturer within the field of Marketing, with an emphasis on Consumer Behaviour as my area of expertise.

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