My steps to be job ready with Griffith Sciences PLUS program

“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity and is the torch which illuminates the world”

– Louis Pasteur

This quote is one of the few reasons why I chose the path of Science and technology. 

My name is Kavya Santhosh and am currently a final year postgraduate student at Griffith  University studying a double degree in Computer Science, Electronics and Energy Engineering (after achieving my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering from my home country India (Kerala). 

Science excites me. Yes it does! The curiosity of each person’s imagination and thoughts could be turned to reality when one chooses science. That very curiosity is what got me into science leading eventually to a path in engineering. From a young age I had a real interest in science being part of school science clubs, partaking in school projects and representing my school in science exhibitions and national competitions. So it was a natural decision to pursue my career in engineering.  

Getting into the electronics industry was one of my major goals as I was interested in studying semiconductors, nano electronics and power machines. But during my final year of my undergraduate studies I realised that I would like to specialise in renewable energy and sustainability and the best option offered by Griffith University was the double degree program of Masters in Computer Science/Electronics and Energy Engineering.  

Adding to the fact that I had wanted to study in a foreign country to experience the cultural diversity along with quality education, this program seemed the best of all. As an international student, it was very important for me to choose a program that would help me enhance not only my technical acumen but also provide me with a wide variety of career opportunities in electronics and energy field. And boy, did Griffith University stand up to its expectation! Right from offering a diverse mix of course intensive subjects to hands on approach on teaching even during the unprecedented COVID-19 times made me realise that taking up the offer to study at Griffith University was the biggest achievement I had. 

During the early stages of COVID-19, when on campus teaching transitioned online, one of the biggest challenges was to prepare oneself for employment opportunities. As an international student, the only ways to get a job is to network. As that wasn’t possible, I fell into a rabbit hole of not doing anything to increase my employment chances due to which I felt left out in this competitive race. As anyone knows, to be successful, you need to be well informed. For me, the disadvantage that I didn’t have a network to reach out and help me in enhancing my career prospective played a major role. Adding to the fact of being an international student away from family and friends increased my anxiety levels and stressed me out. I couldn’t focus and was being a procrastinator. All of this changed when I enrolled myself with the Griffith Science PLUS Program

I was introduced to the Griffith Science PLUS program in my first year of university studies in 2019. Back then I was so busy with my subjects that I couldn’t participate in the program. But the silver lining due to Covid-19 was that I could complete what I had started in my first year of university studies. Griffith Science PLUS program is designed in such a way to improve your chances of employability and career enhancement by engaging yourself in developing a good career prospective by managing your resumes, cover letter and e-portfolio. As mentioned on the Griffith University site “The program is designed to be undertaken by students across the course of their degree and is characterised by a series of manageable and achievable career-development activities aligned to the student lifecycle.” 

The main advantage of Griffith Science PLUS is that it makes me prepare myself as “job ready”.

This program is designed in such a way that it helps you develop employability skills through a range of workshops and activities done. Reflections are written after every workshop which helps in understanding each individual’s strength and weakness and how to project one’s self in a professional way. The best thing about these workshops for me were the engaging workshops and bite-sized nature of the concepts taught and steps that I could do to help me stand out in my career prospective. This led me to be productive and use time wisely in making major career enhancements. The main advantage of Griffith Science PLUS is that it makes me prepare myself as “job ready”. 

The PLUS program focuses on developing important skills for the job market. Being in an engineering field, I was frustrated with the lack of jobs advertised in my field. But with Griffith PLUS program, I was able to learn that 90% of jobs in my field weren’t advertised but rather were known to graduates who had strong connections and were able to use these connections effectively. Because of which, I started leveraging job sites such as Indeed, Seek and LinkedIn more effectively. I also paid close attention to polishing my resume and cover letter to tailor with the job requirements. Also the concept of informational interviews talked during Science PLUS classes were also effective in opening up new opportunities. 

To list the benefits of Griffith PLUS program mainly includes my introduction to effectively using LinkedIn and working towards building connections. I was able to learn new skills through the LinkedIn learning platform in electronics and energy field of engineering. Secondly, I started to become more productive of my time and launched my personal blog “creativeinspirationlife”. Writing has always been a passion for me and launching a blog seemed the perfect idea. This purpose behind this blog was to creatively inspire myself to write about content that I as a reader would enjoy! Finally, enrolling for Griffith PLUS made me feel connected to my university in a way. Having online sessions may not be the best way to communicate but it does make you feel involved and productive. With the amazing teaching of Ms Gayle Brent, the online blackboard collaborations have been a fantastic experience for me. 

I believe that the introduction to Griffith Science PLUS program, an initiative from Griffith University for its graduates is a step in helping the students to be “job ready” and helps them in finding opportunities in their stream of studies. I am grateful that I am a part of this program as it has helped me in making strong connections with professionals in my field, helped me in attending job webinars and even gave me a chance in volunteering in YMCA op shop. With that being said, I believe one of the major advantages of this program is that it has helped me in being clear about my work opportunities after I finish with my studies. I had been unclear about the job opportunities in energy sector but with Griffith program, I was able to touch base with professionals in the field through informational interviews to help understand the market scenario and opportunities.

All in all, I would encourage each and every one who is a part of STEM studies to enrol in the Griffith PLUS program as it’s an amazing opportunity to help you shine through the employment opportunities. You can find more information about the Griffith PLUS Program on the university website or simply can find under your student profile under “Employability” to register your interest. And to the amazing folks who are busy planning to do your university studies in engineering future, I would advise you to go for it! 

As with the wise words of the first women engineer, Edith Clarke “There is no demand for women engineers, as such, as there are for women doctors; but there’s always a demand for anyone who can do a good piece of work.” So, if you believe what it takes to be a STEM graduate, then follow the path with no doubts! 

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