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Jacob’s background in IT and finance led him to
join Deloitte’s top-ranking graduate program in
2012. In addition to broadening his STEM skills in
a multidisciplinary environment, the program gave
him the opportunity to collaborate with a mix of
people and develop important networking skills.
Now as a consultant at Deloitte, Jacob enjoys
working on an array of projects. “ We’re encouraged
to apply our STEM skills to a diversified range of
fields,” he says.
Putting his STEM-savv y to use, Jacob is currently
working with the Department of Defence on a large
business transformation project, enabled by
technology. “ Having a foundation in STEM gives
you an edge when working in industry,” he says.
While Jacob is passionate about all things tech,
he says STEM grads should have a firm grasp on
other disciplines to stand out from the pack.
“ It’s important to understand that technology
is an enabler – you need to think about what you
want to enable.” – Gemma Conroy
et’s face it, taking on undergraduate and postgraduate
studies can sound like a slog. But that investment
could pay off big time through a rewarding career.
The ultimate destination of most postgrads is with
industry. Australia’s 2014 Postgraduate Destinations survey
showed the private sector employs more than a third of
postgrads (38.3%). A further 25.5% of postgrads find work
in education, 15.8% in health and 11.8% in government.
Whatever the industry, today’s workplace is changing rapidly.
Traditional employment models are being replaced by agile
work environments focussed on the ability to respond to
fast-changing global markets.
Employers want people who are flexible and adaptable – often
described as T-shaped – who have deep skills in a specialised
area but are also able to apply their talents more broadly.
Postgrad degrees can be highly specialised, but during your
study you will develop skills across a range of other useful areas.
Andrew Purchas, the national account manager at
GradConnection, says employers value the deep analytical and
research skills postgrads have. “A lot of students have in-depth
knowledge in a niche field, but also present themselves to
employers with transferable skills from their study,” he says.
These include time management, organisational ability,
presentation skills, research capability and networking – but
they can also encompass talents that are in demand in your
chosen field. Postgrads who make connections with industry
early – during their studies, for example – are well placed to
develop the skills they’ll need to score amazing jobs.
An environmental edge
Michelle Senerman Finkelstein worked with consultancy firm
Edge Environment while doing a Master of Sustainability at the
University of Sydney. She helped develop a proposal for an app
that helps consumers assess product lifecycles by scanning
“I think it’s vital for postgrads to build industry links while
they’re studying,” Michelle says. “It helps tie the two together
– your work has context and your studies make more sense.”
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
(ANSTO) senior research scientist Dr Krystyna Saunders worked
in labs analysing naturally occurring radioisotopes in lake
sediments while completing her PhD on the human impact on
environments. This work led to her current research-based role.
“ You need to be open to different opportunities as they arise,
even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do in the end,”
Race ahead to the endgame
Forensic chemist Dr Adam Cawley is science manager at
Racing NSW, where he heads the Australian Racing Forensic
Laboratory and works at the forefront of forensic drug analysis.
Much of his PhD, which looked at the detection of androgenic
steroids in athletes, was done during an industry partnership
with the National Measurement Institute, the organisation
responsible for Australia’s measurement standards.
He says agility is critical in his field. “My work has evolved
from organic chemistry to managing a research project on
Adam says students can focus on their degree endgame
through industry-PhD partnerships, completing research that
will jump-start their career.
“ There are advantages for everyone – industry receives the
benefit of a really good academic project and students are able
to spend a large amount of time in labs with access to real data,”
he says. – Fran Molloy
Bachelor of Information and
Economics, Western Sydney
Advisory, Deloitte Australia
Management, Deloitte Australia
Summer Vacationer program,
CONSULTANT, TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY,
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