By Abbey Cannan
A fortuitous meeting in his hometown of Noosa set the wheels in motion for a local teen to make the move to Melbourne and pursue a career in sports media.
As an AFL fan growing up in Queensland, Finn Blake realised Victoria was the place to be.
Growing up in a football family, he felt as though his connection to the sport always allowed him to keep a connection to where he was born, Melbourne.
“I have a huge passion for football,“ Finn said. “While my schoolmates would be playing rugby, I would always be in the backyard kicking the footy with my dad.“
The passion to stay connected is what landed the Noosa student with his dream job.
“I spent my weekends during high school working at Betty’s Burgers on Hastings Street,“ Finn said. “As an avid Collingwood fan in a rugby-centric state, I would always look forward to holiday times when I could discuss footy with the tourists from Melbourne.
“One day a gentleman wearing a Carlton cap walked past the restaurant and piqued my interest. I caught his attention and we began discussing our hatred for each other’s football teams. He wanted to help me out, as I’d mentioned to him that my dream was to work in the AFL media industry. He kindly passed on a contact at a company in Melbourne, which resulted in a meeting just a month later, while I was halfway through Year 12.
“The meeting went well, although I realised I had a lot of work to do before I was able to even think about moving to Melbourne.“
Fast forward six months to January, and Finn had enrolled in tertiary study in Queensland. However, the same contact from Melbourne was on holidays in Noosa at that time.
“He invited me to breakfast with his family and offered me an opportunity to work at his company,“ Finn said. “Two weeks later, I had my bags packed and was on a plane to Melbourne, ready to work at McGuire Media, then a year later I started uni and joined the close-knit community on campus at Trinity College, where I’d meet some of my closest friends and extend my network even further.“
Finn said he always wanted to play AFL professionally.
“Once I realised I wasn’t talented enough to run out onto the MCG in a Collingwood guernsey, I knew I wanted to be part of the industry in some way,“ he said.
“Being in the media has provided me with the opportunity to connect to the sport in a way that I always wanted to.
“I have been privileged to be able to work on broadcasts that have been seen by millions of people.
“The people at McGuire Media have become such a large part of my life. It was rather daunting walking into an office at the age of 17 surrounded by so many accomplished and experienced people. However, these people were so willing to spend time with me and teach me about the industry.“
Since undertaking studies at the University of Melbourne at living at Trinity College, Finn has learned that life is all about a balance.
“It has been a great challenge to strike a balance between my professional career, university studies and college life at Trinity,“ he said.
“In many ways, I believe that they all complement each other in terms of allowing me to develop and mature.
“It’s been a period of growth since my return to Melbourne and that’s testament to the people who have guided me through my professional career so far.
“I look forward to continuing my media work, as well as integrating business into what I do. I want to continue developing my media skills so that one day I’m able to host my own show.“