Student gets real in his graduation speech

Zack Nelson stood up in front of the graduating class of 2018 from JMC's Sydney campus, to deliver this speech. And it's one you're going to want to read.


Earlier this Year in March I was contracted as the Dressing Room Coordinator for Ed Sheeran’s concert in Sydney. Less than a week before the event, my main supplier bailed on me. I had nothing to work with. No supplies meant no dressing rooms. I couldn’t see a way out... I thought back to my lecturers, my classmates, everything I knew and everything I didn’t… what would they do? I wasn’t ready to quit yet. So, I jumped back into it. I humbly sought help where I needed, started looking for a new supplier. I reorganized the loading schedule, re-balanced the budget, and drank a lot of coffee... And in the nick of time, I got my project together. I pulled it off! I had successfully coordinated the dressing room for a major international talent.”

When Matthew McConaughey won his Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, he stated that he tries to be better than his future self, 10 years ahead.

It's a motivating thought, trying to outdo your older, wiser self. But my experience in this industry has taught me a different lesson… there are always several possible ways things can turn out. Our choices and our actions direct those outcomes. There will always be failed experiences, but these are lessons to be learned. When we started at JMC, it was anyone's guess where things would go, I honestly had no direction and only started because I was recommended to by a colleague. All those sleepless nights, the cramming, the jamming and all the crazy stuff in between. But we made it! There will always be an easy way out, an opportunity to give up when things get tough, but if we want to move forward– we need to be the better version of ourselves. It's a lot like multiverse theory. Somewhere out there, another version of you is making the choice to keep going, to be the best version. So next time you're thinking; I can't get this job, it's too hard, I'm too tired, I don't have time– remember, it’s your decision and those other versions of you are in the exact same situation. So, make sure it’s this version of you that’s will rise up and be the best.

We live in a world where the working person’s stigma is ‘dog eat dog’, step on heads to climb up, but for everyone here – that is not the best version of yourself. In the entertainment industry it’s a collaboration of power with a shared load, there are no fights to win. You already have an entire project against you, why fight one another? In our class, we were always better together… whether it was helping a sick classmate with a heavy assignment or studying together for exams, always with a smile and “you’ll be right mate”. We already reflect what’s beautiful about our industry, we’ll fit right in, don’t worry.

To our loved ones we couldn’t have gotten here without all of you, we couldn’t have done it without the amazing people in our lives. Personally, I want to thank my family and my other half, Katrina, constantly giving me love and support where I didn’t have a leg to stand on. To Patrick Maloney, my Head of Department and my lecturers, you have always pushed me to try harder, be better, and have always given me the inspiration I need to carve out my path and find my place in the world– I’m still working on that– thank you. And to my classmates and my fellow graduates, thank you for accompanying me on the journey and challenging me and serving as role models; to keep going even when it’s easier to give up.

We’re all so lucky that people didn’t give up on us, and to those who did – look at us now!

Today, we leave walk out of here with burning hearts and an insatiable hunger to be the best version of ourselves.

Thank you JMC Academy, Thank you everyone!”

*Round of applause for Zack!* 

Zack was a previous JMC Academy Entertainment Business Management Student. 

Congratulations to our incredible graduated and graduating students.

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