Mathew Tyack’s Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) degree from Swinburne helped him develop a business mindset through the real-world assignments and industry connections that students are encouraged to make. Mathew is now the founder and CEO of an online meal prep store, Jugglebox and also works at online marketplace giant Carsales.com.au.
What did you study at Swinburne and why did you choose that course?
I originally applied to study advertising at TAFE in Prahran (Advanced Diploma in Advertising) when Swinburne allowed first-time students to study a double advanced diploma and include marketing to study as well. I did not know much about marketing at the time but as a student I thought why not give it a shot. Thankfully I did, as this step led me into the world of marketing that I have come to love. After two years of studying and graduating I used the RPL system to cut my Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) down from 3 years to just 1.5. I believe it was all meant to be and the path chose me rather than me choosing the path.
How are you creating social or economic impact in the world?
In my current full time role as Ecommerce, Marketing & Pricing Manager working for Carsales.com.au we are revolutionising Australia in changing the tyre industry to make the process as simple as possible for our customers to purchase online. The days of going to the mechanic to purchase and get advice are gone and the economy is changing. I am helping build this change and invigorating the online space to provide Australia with a new and exciting online shopping experience.
With my online store www.jugglebox.com.au I am pushing a social change as a meal prep advocate providing customers the tools and advice they need to stay on top of their meal prep and healthy eating goals. Through selling products online and social media messaging, this all helps push this message out to help change people’s mindsets around healthy eating and staying prepared to reach their goals. Our main aim is to get people back into the kitchen to cook for themselves and save money.
How central is innovation to your work?
Innovation is everything. It is key to success. Not all businesses allow employees to fully be innovative, but my current employer does. No idea, big or small, is a bad idea. We’re encouraged to never be afraid to just pitch an idea or throw something out in the air, as that idea could spawn additional or spin off ideas, which will start conversations.
Innovation is also about staying ahead of your competitors but staying customer-centric. The customer comes first more so now than ever before, and customers are shopping smarter than ever before. Innovate, collaborate and implement what you can but also plan long term. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Do you ever make mistakes or have failures? How do you overcome this?
Absolutely. Failing is not trying! I always remember this when making hard-hitting decisions. You need to take risks where you can. I have had 3 other businesses before this one that have not worked out, but with experience you learn what works and what doesn’t. This has brought me to where I am now and when things do not work the way you anticipated, it only means you get better at doing something.
The online world is brutal, and anyone can open an online store. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds and building it in the correct way from scratch has its challenges to get all the pieces in the right places. From obtaining an ABN through to SEO, SEM, Web design, content writing, creatives, email sends, marketing, advertising and then actually selling, shipping and providing a high level of customer service – there is a lot involved! But… it can be done, and I know this because I am proof of this.
What are the practical things you’ve done or implemented that you feel have set you apart / helped you stand out from the crowd?
All challenges in the past that you overcome from a business perspective can help you in your career. You learn, grow, adapt and change. Work out what you are good at and where you can grow your skills, as this will allow you to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. One thing I made sure I did was take part in the mentor program at Carsales, this is a great opportunity to engage with someone with experience in business and then gain knowledge from them. They can push you in ways you did not think possible and bring those ‘lightbulb moments’ to life.
Another practical way to stay on top of your game is to keep learning and challenging yourself. I went and completed a TV presenting course a couple of years ago as I wanted to be prepared in the future for public speaking, and with the online world becoming video content heavy this has also opened doors for opportunities in the industry.
When selling online I have learnt that keeping it simple is key. Give customers want they want in the easiest form possible. You don’t need to complicate things.
In what way did Swinburne prepare you for the challenges you face in your work?
Swinburne helped me with my presenting skills, and helped me develop a business acumen and mindset. I now have the ability to look at the world in a different way where marketing and business is at the forefront of my mind in my daily life. The assignments were also real-life brands which helped me get my first Job in Online at Myer head office. From here I worked as a consultant on major Australian and International brands like Rip curl, Calibre, Nike, Carlton United Breweries, Kathmandu, Kikki K, and Rebel Sport to name a few. None of this would have been possible without the real-world assignments Swinburne was able to offer.
What advice would you give to current Swinburne students?
Don’t give up on your dream job! I applied about 6 times to the Myer head office before I was given a role. Persistence will pay off. Also, as Nike says “Just do it” – failing is not trying and don’t be hard on yourself if something does not work out. Just keep going at it and when time and opportunity meets, that’s the spark the universe has aligned for you.
Where do you see yourself in 2025?
I feel like my life could go one of two ways. I could quit my full time job and focus fully on my online store Jugglebox, or keep climbing the corporate ladder to be on the board of one of Australia’s greatest tech companies. Both options to me sound pretty good and I am on the right track to explore both opportunities. With the industry changing around how people use cars, there are plenty of opportunities in Australia and overseas. Plus, what I learn in my current role ultimately helps me for my business and vice versa.
So…perhaps as the little girl in the El Paso Taco commercial says, “Why not have both?”
Full story can also be found here: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/alumni/stories/business/mathew-tyack/