Pete Jeans - Bachelor of Arts (Communication) - 1978

Pete Jeans

Strategist and communicator

Studying his Bachelor of Arts (Communication) in the late 1970s, Pete Jeans was a graduate of CSU’s antecedent institution - then Mitchell College of Advanced Education (MCAE) - and proud member of the ‘Mitchell Mafia’.

With a distinguished career in marketing and communications, Pete has been Director of SMO Sydney for more than 20 years.

What does he do?  He says, “We develop and implement new value propositions with you that switch customer volume to you profitably.”

Here Pete shares with us his memories of Mitchell College and why it pays to never give up.

The best piece of advice I ever received was “ have a crack”. I did.

I was in the right place at the right time; primarily because the early 70s were probably the emergence of the Mitchell Mafia…. who have gone on to great things.

I had to write an essay to competitively qualify for entry to the MCAE communications course, which was the premier school for journalism and PR in Australia…and still is!

I never thought I would finish the communications degree. We had to learn shorthand in third year as well as attempting 12 units in 12 months as part of the conversion from a diploma to a degree.

I was busy.

At the end of sixth semester, I walked out of ‘Siberia’ at Bathurst (the bleakest exam hall I can tell you) and thought, “well, that’s that” and was headhunted into a great corporate role a month after Christmas.

Now, I’m a Director of SMO Sydney...  a 23 year old strategy practice working all around Australia and in NZ and occasionally Asia and further afield.

We’ve helped a bunch of organisations with major strategic projects ranging across marketing, supply chain, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis and entry, shut-downs and strategic guidance; as well as the operational implementation of go-to-market strategy.

I’m passionate about... the variety of new challenges. Others say I don’t give up easily. It must be an inbuilt passion to succeed. No one taught me that. 

I’m motivated by... continuing best-practice and identifying and strengthening the true strategic advantage of an organisation’s offerings which can drive profitable customer loyalty on a sustainable basis.

In my profession it’s important to... surround yourself with people who are better than you were when you were doing their job. 

Scan the horizon for emerging trends in relevant industry sectors. Network like crazy. Share your career achievements regularly via an effective social media business strategy. Treat customers like gold…’cos they are. 

Getting profitable customers and keeping them is the ONLY game in town if you want to eat.

The biggest influence in my life... was living overseas as sub-teenager. It certainly makes you appreciate the many benefits of living and doing business in Australia and the life/work balance we enjoy. 

I’m most proud of... turning customers into friends over time. It makes it easy for them to keep on coming back.

My greatest achievement... was completing a Masters degree in commerce part-time while working 50+ hours a week; travelling constantly and being a dad to a young family. 

No biggy. We all did it.

In the future I’d like to... join a couple of boards as a non executive director. I’ve got some leadership and wide industry sector experience that might be useful for organisations that are unsatisfied with their performance or are undergoing transformational change.

The single-most important issue in the world is... economic stability. Without it, regional uncertainty drives higher risks. 

Good luck in your careers... if you innovate continually and treasure every business relationship, there’s a fair chance you’ll be a star.