Ethical comms at the heart of Janisha’s entrepreneurial vision

University of the Sunshine Coast

The allure of versatility drew Janisha Chaudhary to study a Bachelor of Communications, and since graduating from UniSC, she’s been busy building her digital marketing agency – Good Hearted Studio – focussing on ethical communications to support the changemakers doing good for people and the planet.

“I changed my mind so many times in the beginning on what I wanted to specialise in… which is why I loved the beauty of a communications degree, getting to taste test the different majors and find my footing in what interested me most,” Janisha says.

After exploring the options for specialisation, Janisha found her niche in social media and creative advertising, as she “loved being part of bringing a project or campaign from an idea into fruition.”

The best part of her studies, Janisha says, was the many on-the-job experiences she had. “I had so many excellent Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities during university… one of the highlights was interning for Bronte Cresswell (also a UniSC graduate) in my final year,” Janisha recalls.

“Bronte was just starting up her social media agency, so I had the opportunity to be part of so many foundational projects and essentially try my hand at everything.”

Janisha credits her teachers, in particular Dr Karen Sutherland, with the contacts and hands-on experience she gained while studying.

“In each course as part of my assignment, I was given a real-life business on the Coast as a client and I needed to fully manage that relationship including any troubleshooting… these skills were immensely helpful for me in getting straight into the agency workforce.”

“In my final year, my client was the Maroochy Homemaker Centre, which felt huge and was such a cool opportunity!

“I had friends at other unis studying similar degrees, who had a completely different experience finding work in their field after graduating because their courses didn’t include the same kinds of hands-on, practical work opportunities… I’m very grateful for the opportunities I had at UniSC.”

Janisha started her career at an in-house marketing agency, then secured a job at a boutique digital marketing agency in Brisbane which she says felt like it ticked all her boxes. But after two years, and with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Janisha experienced “exceptional burnout.”

“I didn’t always feel values-aligned or excited about the clients and brands we worked with, but I had little say… it was my job so I just ‘had to do it’ – it wasn’t a mindset I liked.”

So she decided to take the giant leap into starting her own business, a digital marketing agency she named ‘Good Hearted Studio’, which focusses on ethical communications and copywriting.

Janisha was determined to run things on her own terms, including steering clear of the ‘always on’ hustle culture of working in a digital role, especially after recently being diagnosed with a chronic illness.

And as someone who’s “always had very strong ethical values,” the ethical focus was a no-brainer.

“I’ve seen some epic, for-purpose brands come onto the scene who close their doors quite quickly due to a lack of marketing and being able to connect with the right audience… it breaks my heart, which is why I focus on amplifying the voices of those trying to do good so they can make the biggest impact,” she says.

“I’m not at all perfect, but I love supporting the passionate changemakers who want to do good for people and the planet.”

Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur has come with its own set of challenges. “There are always new hurdles when you’re doing it for yourself!” she admits.

“I’m grateful to have great mentors and my network to look up to and lean on for advice… community is everything when building a business, nothing solo about it.”

Janisha also acknowledges with gratitude the “freedom, privilege and support” of her family which gave her the courage and flexibility to follow her dreams. Born in New Zealand to Fijian Indian parents, Janisha was seven when her family moved to Brisbane, Australia, and she’s the first in her immediate family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

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