First masterclass covers transition from student to employee

2 February
veski masterclass for inspiring women industry interns with Dr Leonie Walsh and Dr Anna Bellamy-McIntyre
veski masterclass for inspiring women industry interns with Dr Leonie Walsh and Dr Anna Bellamy-McIntyre

The skills and knowledge required to transition from academia to industry were the focus of a masterclass held for veski inspiring women industry interns on Thursday, 29 January 2015.

Four female masters and honours students in STEM disciplines at four Victorian Universities, and now working with four innovative Melbourne companies, came together for the first in a series of five masterclasses being held throughout 2015.

The inspiring women industry internships — supported by veski and the Office of the Lead Scientist — aim to support, advance and inform Victorian women through partnerships with government, industry and academia with interns and industry working together on short-term (4 month) focused research projects.

With the focus on the transition from student to employee or intern, guest speakers Dr Leonie Walsh, Victoria’s Lead Scientist and Dr Anna Bellamy-McIntyre, consultant at KPMG shared their insights gained from successful and inspiring careers and their own transitions from academia to industry.  

Ms Julia L Page, veski chief executive officer, who also participated in the session, said it provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to talk with others going through the same transition and learn from senior women who have made the transition.

“One of the interns said that she hadn’t considered the full range of opportunities available to those working in industry until she heard about Dr Bellamy-McIntyre’s journey from lab to industry”, Ms Page said.

Leonie Walsh shared her insights gained from transitioning from research into industry roles, and her current experiences as the State’s Lead Scientist. Following a discussion on 20 tips for making the transition easier, Dr Bellamy-McIntyre added a 21st saying it was OK not to know all of the answers; encouraging the interns to seek feedback, clarify their roles and be good team players.

Interns provided a brief overview of their projects and received feedback and questions. The interns were also given the opportunity to seek advice and speak to Dr Walsh and Dr Bellamy-McIntyre about their careers. 

Upon reflection of the masterclass each intern expressed how valuable the information shared in the room was and that hearing personal stories of successful scientists had lead them to consider options such as undertaking a career in industry that they had not considered prior. 

The industry internships are being delivered by AMSI Intern, an innovative national program working across industry, building links between universities and organisations. The program provides organisations with high-end analytical expertise and is an alternative, cost effective solution for a research challenge or problem facing Victorian businesses.

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