Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Words from the wise: Field advice from Murdoch Alumni

Image ↬ Elizabeth Sanchez

As a student it can be hard to visualise the kind of role you are going to have when you finish your degree.  Questions such as where will this lead me, what kind of job can I get, what will I actually be doing, are commonly raging around in most students heads!

We thought that some advice on working out your path from uni to workplace would be useful to current students, so we turned to our Alumni and asked them if they could offer any insights. 

Meet Magdeline Lum, Murdoch Graduate Bsc. Chemistry, Grad Dip Extractive Metallurgy

Magdeline (Mags for short) Lum is a chemist and metallurgist on a mine site, a writer, a blogger, a science communicator, a volunteer and mentor to school students.

Mags is a lot of things.

Mags says, as a student she didn’t think about it until her final year which is when she started to look online and in newspapers to see what kind of work was available, what kind of work someone with a Chemistry degree could get.

While you don’t have to have a concrete plan in place, Mags suggests at least doing some things in your first semester to figure out if it is in fact a direction you want to go in. 

She highly recommends chatting to the employers at career expos and to sign up for vacation programs in your 2nd year over the summer months.

Mags adds that it’s important in particular if you are applying for graduate positions where applications open a lot earlier then uni graduation dates and the process is quite long. 

This leads into her next hot tip, which is useful to keep in mind not just as a new graduate, but all throughout your career:

Mags admits it can be hard to find mentors and she suggests turning to the internet. She suggests searching for people who have done things – more and more people have blogs, or find people through professional associations and networking functions.

Round up

  • Find mentors via blogs and Twitter is a great place to find people in your industry and area of interest. Also start a professional profile on LinkedIn, join industry groups and find leaders in your field of interest.

You might also like to read:

Figuring out what you want to be when you grow up

Find what you love and just do it

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