The Griffith University Careers and Employment Service, in conjunction with the Griffith Graduate Research School conducted a Postgraduate Careers Symposium for current students on 10th October 2006 at the Eco Centre, Nathan campus.
The Symposium was designed to encourage current postgraduate students to think about possible career paths and career development issues. The Symposium comprised fourteen speakers representing a cross-section of disciplines. The program was organised into three panels, a Research Higher Degree Panel, a Coursework Panel and an International Panel, the latter comprised of presenters with overseas work experience.
The event involved short presentations by panel members regarding the impact of their postgraduate qualifications on their respective careers. The program provided the opportunity for students to network with panel members over a glass of wine.
Speakers told their career stories with an emphasis upon issues such as how their postgraduate awards had enhanced their careers, how they may have used their awards as a vehicle for changing careers and made reference to important career and job-searching strategies.
Student feedback on the aspects of the Symposium that were most helpful included the following comments:
Learning what skills were needed to forge your career ie confidence, networking, & utilising skills gained during [our] academic career to forge a professional career (applying them to professional situations)… so interesting to hear everybody's stories!
The Symposium was brilliant and totally motivating & insightful. The quality of speakers was very impressive. A great mix of people!
Looking for job opportunities other than the discipline of study, mobility of labour, to work in areas other than metropolitan one.
Approximately 65 postgraduate students attended the Symposium and their feedback indicated that they had found the event beneficial in terms of assisting them to consider future career options. Students gained insights into how postgraduate study could open up diverse career opportunities. Hearing the accounts of experienced professionals also made students aware of the importance of cultivating networks, professional work experience and employing effective job-searching techniques, in addition to formal qualifications.
The Postgraduate Careers Symposium Program with details of speakers as well as the audio recording of the event in MP3 format can be accessed at: www.griffith.edu.au/careers/