Rewriting the career story of a physics graduate

Harriet Farlow
18 December 2016

When graduating from ANU last year, Harriet Farlow wasn’t faced with the job hunting stress of most of her classmates.

Instead she was walking into the job she’d already acquired months before, with multinational consultancy firm Deloitte.

“I saw the position come through the university email, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have considered it,” says Harriet who graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in physics and biological anthropology.

“It was something like ‘Have you considered consulting?’ And I thought, no, I haven’t, so I looked into it.”

Harriet was impressed to discover that consultancy firms like Deloitte are on the lookout for people with science degrees.  

“Around half of everyone that I work with in the analytics and data team have science degrees. Which is interesting because most of the people I studied with probably had no idea that this was an option for them.

“I can imagine having done a business degree you’d know all these things are out there, but in science you only hear about research positions.”

Harriet found that her communication skills, developed through her extracurricular activities of debating and public speaking, as well as her focus on a work-life balance, set her apart and allowed her to get a job prior to even graduating.

Harriet says this is because employers are not just looking for academic skills and the ability to code.

“In most industries now you need more than that to get employed, you need to be able to communicate and network as well.  

“What has helped me is experience speaking to a crowd, as I often have to present my work to colleagues and clients.”

For Harriet, working for one of the largest professional services firms in the world, isn’t the only perk of the job.   

“If anyone asks for travel related leave, Deloitte usually approves it straight away, because they know that’s what makes people interesting, and that’s important.”

So, think outside the box for careers in science. And pack your bags, they might come in handy too.