Grow the seeds of your future career

The placement gave me confidence in the transferability of the skills I have developed and refined throughout my PhD.

When you have a clear vision of where you want your career to go, it can open be easier to think of a potential host for your placement.

Isis Arend da Silva, PhD candidate from the School of Biological Sciences, had discussed her interest in undertaking an industry placement in botany, her field of interest, with her supervisor from day one of her PhD.

When the opportunity arose, her supervisor introduced Isis to her future hosts, the National Seed Bank, a section of The Australian National Botanic Gardens, which houses Australia’s largest living collection of native plants.

“I was looking for strong network opportunities with key professionals in my field of interest, to help establish my career path.”

“This placement provided an opportunity to work alongside such professionals,” she said.

While at the National Seed Bank, Isis was involved in ongoing research aiming to understand how long a seed can live.

While working on this project, she developed the R code for statistical analyses and graphical representation of the data from the first batch of species available for research.

“Developing this code was my biggest challenge and my greatest opportunity to show that I can crack any scientific question, even if the topic is new to me,” she said.

Isis also contributed to writing the scientific paper, gave a short presentation of the topic to the department, and was involved in setting up the experiment for the collection of data on a second batch of species.

Isis and her supervisors planned for her PhD to accommodate a placement, and because of this, she was able to keep on track with her PhD while still fulfilling her placement commitments.

Overall, the experience helped Isis see how she would be able to use the skills she developed during her PhD in her career after UQ.

“The placement gave me confidence in the transferability of the skills I have developed and refined throughout my PhD, providing a solid example of how these skills may be applied outside of academia,” she said.

Isis also gained a stronger professional network through which she will be able to benefit in the future.

If you are a UQ HDR candidate and would like to explore your placement opportunities, attend an information session to learn more about the program.

Photo of Isis Arend da Silva