Growing up in Kojonup as a ‘farm boy’, little did Jayden Worts, Alumni Relations Officer, know that he’d end up doing ‘virtual engagement’ with alumni worldwide.
“I was probably as far from the stereotypical ‘farm boy’ as you can get. One of my early memories growing up on the farm in the South West was the sense of expanse and freedom, and, funnily enough, of my geologist dad licking rocks to figure out their composition.
“I grew up in a family of scientists who loved logic and reasoning, but I feel like it was my grandmother’s and mother’s artistic influences that played a great deal in shaping my love for drawing and music in childhood, and later in life.
“This, together with design skills, led me to eventually forging a career in advertising and graphic design,” Jayden says.
With 10 years of experience working with leading WA advertising agencies such as The Brand Agency, Longtail and Cooch Creative, Jayden brings a lot of creativity to his current engagement role in Alumni Relations.
A lot of his work centres around ‘virtual engagement’ which, he says, is more or less using digital communication platforms such as electronic newsletters like AlumniConnect and strategies to find a middle ground between UWA’s needs and the desires of our alumni community, plus problem solving and a fair bit of design work.
Making the transition from advertising to higher education was relatively easy for Jayden. He had already been working on UWA collateral when he was asked to make the move from Cooch Creative to carry out the design work for the UWA’s New Century Campaign.
Now he’s firmly rooted in alumni engagement, and sees himself as a vehicle through which the University connects with its alumni.
“It’s been an amazing experience working at UWA, starting off as a designer and now working in Alumni Relations.
“If every little creative piece you design, conversation you have, story you write is authentic and respectful of people’s time then the engagement it generates and their interactions with us will be worthwhile and meaningful, no matter what their career and passions are. Even if it’s not so obvious at first,” Jayden says.
While he’s mainly worked in roles that inspire his creativity – apart form a short stint in a warehouse while studying for his History degree – nothing, he admits, prepared him for creative overload like a punk band.
He is a member of a post-hardcore punk band called Eleventh he reaches London which he founded with his former classmates from Scotch College. Their band performed across Australia taking out several West Australian Music (WAM) awards and garnering nominations for leading Australian music awards.
“While we don’t get to play as much as we’d like these days being busy with young families, we still have a decent following around the world, fans who love our music and those intrigued by the band name.
“The way we got to name the band is through a strange set of circumstances in itself, but that alone would take up a whole new story to tell,” he says.