NANCY Romano never envisaged she’d run Fox Studios Australia when she finished her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Deakin University.
The former Sacred Heart College student wanted to be an accountant.
“I never thought I’d be doing this when I left university,” Nancy laughs.
“And I never thought I’d be here at Fox with only 12 years of experience behind me but I’ve always had ambition and thrown myself into my work.”
Nancy, 35, was reading the Financial Review when she saw a job in the media/entertainment section for a finance manager at Fox Studios.
She successfully applied for the role.
“I’d always had an interest in the film and television industry, so I applied,” she said.
Seven years later, Nancy is running the show.
As chief of Fox Studios Australia, Nancy is responsible for the operation of the highly technical production environment and marketing the business to the international filmmaking industry.
“The role at Fox is complex and challenging and, although a strong finance background ensures I understand the fundamentals of running a successful company, I’m enjoying the aspects of the role in building relationships with filmmakers and other studio executives around the world,” she says.
The job has put Nancy at the helm of a studio that btought Hollywood blockbusters The Matrix, Moulin Rouge and Superman Returns to film buffs around the world.
And while she’s reluctant to “namedrop”, the passionate Cats supporter has mingled with Hollywood’s elite.
“I’ve met Hugh Jackman and he’s a fantastic guy, really down to earth,” she says.
“We’re currently hosting Baz Luhrmann’s production of Australia and I was on the set last week and it was fantastic.”
But Nancy is yet to meet Australian darling Nicole Kidman.
“In this job you get invited to red carpet events and many social events, so you do mix with celebrities but I’m very comfortable doing so,” Nancy said.
“At first it was like ‘wow’ but now it’s just part of the job.”
Nancy misses her hometown Geelong but manages to leave the bright lights of Sydney to visit her family every three weeks.
“I miss it (Geelong) and if the right job came up there then, yes, I’d move back but at the moment I’m quite content at Fox and have no plans to leave.”
Nancy, who has put plans for a family on hold to concentrate on her career, believes the key to her success is a “thirst for knowledge” coupled with the desire to keep learning.
The Fox boss will share her experience at an annual Young Business and Professional Women Geelong breakfast on May 24.
“If I had to offer advice to other young people on how to succeed in business I’d tell them not to be afraid of hard work, to not be afraid to say what you think and to make yourself stand out from the crowd,” Nancy advises.