Samir (Sam) Mesanovic
Bachelor of Biological Science (2008)
Even before his graduation ceremony, Sam Mesanovic had already travelled to Shanghai on his first overseas work trip and he is likely to be seeing more of the world as part of his graduate position with Agilent Technologies, an international company providing measuring solutions to scientists and engineers.
“Agilent have manufacturing sites around the world - Shanghai, Waldbronn in Germany, Tokyo, London, and their headquarters in Santa Clara,” Sam explained, “so for the next two years I will be going to each of these places for training and to get acquainted with certain instruments.”
After completing his Bachelor of Biological Science with Deakin in 2008, Sam secured a job as a lab technician at a secondary college. After a year in the field he decided to return to Deakin to do honours. He believes his honours qualification, combined with the work experience he had accumulated both as a lab technician and working in retail while studying, was instrumental in Agilent employing him.
“This role is a chemical engineering graduate position and I didn’t really have a strong chemistry base, but what they saw was that I had my honours; I had a year’s experience out in the field; I had four and a half years of retail experience and customer service. And that was relevant because a lot of this role was going to be focussed on people, helping people, dealing with people and helping them with technical issues.”
Gaining experience that adds value to your qualification is something Sam strongly advocates.
“Get as much experience as you can, do volunteer work or whatever, because when you get to third year and you’re looking at getting into a graduate program or looking for a job the first thing they will ask you is what sort of experience you have - what do you know about this; have you ever used these instruments; have you ever used this software package.
“That’s what helped me in the end; my experience as a lab technician, plus the honours, plus the retail experience. It all bunched up for this job I have now, because they looked at it and said you can deal with people, you’ve got your education, but you’ve also gone out in the field and managed your own lab.”
Asked for his advice to people about to embark on university study, Sam said it is about taking one step at a time.
“For me, it felt like I was becoming a professional and I was learning not to give up. It may feel like there are so many things pressing down on you, assignments and everything, but you just don’t give up you take it one step at a time.”For Sam Mesanovic, it is an approach that has proved successful.