HDR Career Conversations

Supporting research student career development and employability at UOW

Be authentic and build your career network

November 20, 2018 by edgard | 2 Comments

PhD job search advice from UOW HDR graduates

Introduction: One of the highlights of my role is hearing graduates share their career stories.  It’s fascinating to hear how such divergent paths can share common themes. Careers Central collaborated with academics from the School of Medicine to run a PhD Careers panel and career discussion as part of the recent School of Medicine Research Forum.  UOW PhD researchers Lauren Houston and Gabrielle Phillips both volunteered to write about their reflections on listening to these three wonderful career stories. 

Lauren’s reflections:

Completing a PhD can seem like a 24/7 endeavour. We are often busy rushing around trying to balance personal, family and work life all at once, forgetting to stop and ask ourselves why it is we are writing this very large book! A panel of three University of Wollongong (UOW), PhD graduates (Dr Danielle Camer, Senior Medical Writer for Swordfish Media; Dr Rhoda Ndanuko, The George Institute for Global Health; Dr Sheridan Gho, Co-founder and director, Cenofex) highlight that there are endless lessons and opportunities presented along this roller coaster of the PhD journey.

As each PhD journey is so different and unique it was emphasized by the panel members that within each journey there are actually many commonalities. Continue Reading →

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September 4, 2018
by saryan
1 Comment

A Different Career Perspective: Impact, Invest and Jump!

Lessons from the iAccelerate IMPACT4 Change Social Entrepreneurship conference

Introduction:  I believe you can learn something from every person’s career experience, no matter how unrelated their career may seem.  This is especially so with entrepreneurs.  In the changing world of work we all need to take an entrepreneurial approach to our careers, looking for opportunities, testing the market and pivoting when things don’t go as expected.   In a recent edition of HDR Career News, we put out a call out for expressions of interest in attending the iAccelerate IMPACT4 Change conference for Social Enterpreneurs.  Zoe Richards had recently submitted her PhD, was looking for some career inspiration, so we sponsored her attendance and asked her to write a blog about her experience.  I think you’ll be interested in the parallels she draws between research and social entrepreneurship.

I don’t fancy myself a social entrepreneur, but I do believe that I have some things in common with those who do. That is wanting to effect meaningful change in some way or another however, at this point in time I’m not exactly sure what that is, or how I plan to do it. After submitting my doctoral dissertation, I have been faced with the same question from many people, “What’s next, Zoe?”, and to be frank for the majority of the time, I have don’t have an answer for them.

I saw attending the iAccelerate IMPACT4 Change conference as an opportunity to connect and network with like-minded people within the research, policy making and social entrepreneurial space, and perhaps a chance to magically uncover what it is I want to do with my career. Whilst, I didn’t walk away with a revolutionary idea of what I want to do with my life, the conference did shift my perspective on how I should approach the next chapter. I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few of these things with a wider audience. Continue Reading →

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July 26, 2018
by saryan
4 Comments

The Five Fs of Leadership

Guest Post by Dr. Alfred Chidembo

Introduction:  Alfred was one of the first students I met when I came to UOW in 2013.  He made an impact then, and he is certainly making an impact on many lives now:  through his Not-for-profit organization Aussie Books for Zim, and through his contributions to the UOW community.  He has delivered student leadership training through UOWx, hosted student teams as part of our student consultancy program Univative and participated on a panel at the HDR Shaping your Employability event late in 2017.  After his inspiring talk at that event, I asked him to share his leadership message through our HDR Careers Conversations blog… and here it is! 

Sometimes leadership is thrust upon you and you find yourself thrown into the deep end where you assess yourself and ask the question, “what have I got to give?” I had a deep look inside and realized that the cupboard was empty except for one quality that I knew I always had, just one: enthusiasm. It happened to me Continue Reading →

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May 14, 2018
by saryan
1 Comment

Creating businesses that transform society

5 pieces of advice from inspiring entrepreneurs at the Global Summit of Women Youth Forum

Introduction: I was really happy to be asked to nominate some HDR students to attend the Global Summit of Women Youth Forum in Sydney recently.  UOW PhD researcher Amy Boyle was one of those nominated and here she gives us some of the key take home messages from the event, relevant to readers regardless of age or gender!

On the 27th of April, I travelled to the International Convention Centre in Sydney with four other students for the Global Summit of Women – Youth Forum. The Global Summit of Women is an annual conference that invites women from over 60 countries in the public, private and non-profit sectors to discuss business strategies that will expand women’s economic and career opportunities internationally. This year, the Youth Forum brought together four young entrepreneurs to share their advice on “Creating Businesses that Transform Society”.

Panel discussion “Creating Businesses that Transform Society”

Continue Reading →

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April 23, 2018
by saryan
0 comments

iUnivative student consultancy programme: A PhD student’s experience

Introduction: Since coming to UOW, iUnivative has been one of my ‘pet’ projects (I was lucky enough to co-ordinate it in 2014 and 2015).  I’ve seen the huge benefits it can give HDR students in recognising their high-level skills in a very different setting.  UOW PhD researcher Lisa Belfiore is a recent iUnivative ‘graduate’ – let’s hear about her incredible experience…

As a final-year PhD student, I’ve been thinking about what I would like to do career-wise after graduation. While my PhD is in science, I recognise that my knowledge and experience opens up many opportunities for me outside of academia, including in industry, government, consultancy and business related-roles. Participating in iUnivative provided me with some business and corporate knowledge, giving me a taste of what alternative career paths might look like, and showed me how I can apply my transferable skill set to a science career outside of academia. Continue Reading →

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February 21, 2018
by saryan
0 comments

6 Characteristics of the Scientist-Entrepreneur

Guest post by Dr Cameron Ferris  

Entrepreneurship is a hot topic in any discussion of careers, the world of work and graduate opportunity at all levels.  Below Cameron outlines the need for a hybrid researcher/ entrepreneur and the characteristics necessary, many of which can be gained through your UOW PhD experience.

I sometimes hear it said that a research degree involves discovering ‘more and more’ about ‘less and less’. In some respects that is true – we become deeply embedded in a specific area of research – but on the whole, I couldn’t disagree more. A research degree is a journey that instils a broad and highly valuable skill set. Since completing my PhD at the University of Wollongong I have drawn significantly on my experience and learnings in building a career in innovation and capital investment.

I’ve particularly enjoyed working with many scientists who are carving a path to take new technologies to market. This is a great time to develop science-backed ventures in Australia, with plenty of public and private sector support for the translation of research into commercial impact, but it requires the right people to make it a reality. Perhaps you are one of those people and, if you have the entrepreneurial itch, I hope this article will be of some encouragement to you. Continue Reading →

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