A PASSIONATE LIFE – WestMAC graduate’s success story

Student Captain Jordan Galea with Principal, Geoff McLay, Philip Larsen and Student Captain Chloe Boike

A zombie movie and the Fruit Ninja video game seem a world away from the scholarly confines of West Moreton Anglican College.

Yet they have been instrumental in the successful career of Year 2002 Alumni Phil Larsen who gave the impassioned Scholars Assembly recently.

At the age of 30, Phil has travelled extensively, completed a Bachelor of Business – marketing and advertising degree and was honoured in 2014 as the Lord Mayor’s Young Business Person of the Year.

He is now successful in the new-age, non-traditional career of video games marketing. It all started with a solid education in the hallowed halls of WestMAC.

“At school I loved Maths, English, Geography, and Economics etc. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do anything with any of them. But I feel like, by taking them all in, one class at a time, I was able to learn a new perspective,” he says.

“When I was here I tried to take in every moment and I really tried to apply that to something I could turn into a career.

“I did a multi-media course studying programming and film and ended up topping my class – I don’t know how. I ended up making a zombie film – I guess it’s because I was able to apply my passion.”

Before applying his passion to further education or a career, Phil says he spent some time travelling and building life experience by working at Target and even parking cars.

After completing his degree, Phil was able to combine his passions of film making, marketing and video games, including one of the most successful video games on the planet.

“Over the years I was able to market many games, including Fruit Ninja. I know most of you have played Fruit Ninja, that’s for sure. Fruit Ninja is definitely one of the biggest downloaded games there is,” he says.

“I found a lot of joy in seeing something like that come to life. I was able to apply my passion with something I was really good at such as marketing.”

Phil says passion is one thing, but you also have to come up with ideas. “I would say that ideas are the most valuable thing we have and small ideas executed well are much, much more valuable than grand ideas that you don’t follow through,” he said.

Phil also had some advice for students: “don’t worry too much about what you want to do for the rest of your life. That changes all the time.”

He said that even at 30 he still doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life.

“But what I will do is try and take in every moment. Use what you love and put it into every single job you do – be it academic or tedious etc, even washing your car. I’ll make a game of that,” he vowed.