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When I obtained my undergraduate degree I quickly realised how competitive the job market was. These days, simply having an undergraduate degree wasn’t enough for the career path I wanted. Employers are now looking for more qualifications, skills and expertise. I chose to enrol in postgraduate study, to obtain these qualities.
By undertaking postgraduate study, the list of qualifications on my CV is more appealing to employers. In addition to my undergraduate degree, I now have my Honours in Science (Biomedical Science), a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation, and I’m about to complete my PhD this year. However I didn’t just chose to do postgraduate study for the extra qualifications. After finishing my undergraduate course, I still didn’t feel ready to start full-time work in the science industry. While my book-knowledge had increased, I still didn’t have the hands-on skills and expertise that would put me ahead of all the other applicants. Postgraduate study would provide me with a more up to date knowledge of the innovative science industry, as well as obtaining valuable experience and work-based skills. Most importantly, I could learn all these skills in the familiar environment of university, while working with other graduates from my degree as well learning from tutors, demonstrators and lecturers from my undergraduate course.
A PhD enabled me to study my topic of choice. I took an interest in physiology and my project focuses on the pre- and post-natal development of respiratory muscles. I am now very competent in the laboratory, as the project entices me to design and run my own experiments. A PhD has also enhanced my skills in analysing, presenting, computer programs, time-management and writing. I am currently involved in collaboration with researchers from Monash University, I attend seminars, symposiums and workshops, and have presented at numerous conferences, including two international conferences in New Zealand and The Netherlands.
I believe by undertaking my PhD, it will lead to more job prospects. Before postgraduate study, I was limited to only a number of options, now they are endless and go beyond a career in just science. The quality of my CV has dramatically increased in the last three years, but not just by the list of qualifications. A PhD as developed my own responsibility, self-motivation and diligence. By the end of my PhD I can add a list of journal publications, professional presentations, undergraduate units I have taught and countless work-based skills to my CV. Networking during my PhD and completing my Grad Certificate has opened the door to more job opportunities in managerial and advisory roles, marketing and entrepreneurship. Hopefully when I complete postgraduate study it will lead to work with the large pharmaceutical or biotechnological companies. By doing a few extra years at university, postgraduate study has built a good stepping stone for not just a job but a career path, hopefully leading me into management in the biopharmaceutical industry.