Bachelor of Graphic Design with Honours, 2003
Working for perhaps the world's best-known advertising agency in the creative and cultural hub of New York was a long way from late night study in UC's design lab and lunches at Iguana Café.
But through sheer determination, hard work and a lot of talent, Hema Patel was able to take her Bachelor of Graphic Design and turn it into an award-winning career as the creative mind behind some of America's most famous advertising and marketing campaigns in recent years.
After working for Sydney based agencies IdeaWorks and M&C Saatchi, Hema followed her dream all the way to New York where she landed a job at one of the most famous agencies in the world; Grey.
From changing the way Americans' eat Pringles, to using sexy grandmas to sell lemonade, and promoting the world's biggest sports league without showing a single player, at Grey, Hema worked with some of America's biggest and best-known brands.
While she enjoyed working with the likes of Gillette, CBRE and the NFL, it was her work with the reboot of 80s soap opera Dallas which was her most enjoyable project. For her work on Dallas, Hema also received a number of industry awards including three at the prestigious Cannes Lions.
"Entertainment clients can be really wonderful to work for. Because the product isn't going to be around for 20 years, networks are willing to take more of a gamble with the campaign when the goal is to just to create a buzz and engagement."
But after five years at Grey and the chaos that is New York, Hema decided to move to Los Angeles for a more relaxed lifestyle and different working environment.
With the move to LA also came a career "pivot" away from advertising and back to design. Now working for startup Cheeky Home, Hema not only uses her creative flair to design homewares, but is also helping to tackle the growing problem of hunger in the US.
"It it so rewarding to be working on something that is creating an impact on society rather than just trying to sell things."
Hema has no doubt that her time at UC gave her a solid foundation for a career that would take her all the way to the other side of the world.
"I am so grateful for my amazing education at UC, it gave me a wonderful grounding, work ethic and skill set that set the trajectory for my career."