Get a degree: tick! Get a job: tick!

Like most graduates, Ellen Miech was worried about finding a job after she finished her degree. Turns out she needn’t have been.

“I graduated and then one hour later I got a call saying I had a job,” she remembers. “I walked off stage, had lunch with my family, and then got the phone call.”

It was the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, offering Ellen a role as a Technical Officer in the Biosecurity Assurance Team. Spoiler alert: she took it.

The connection between her degree and the job isn’t just about the timing. Ellen says she can confidently say her degree was what got her the job.

“I did a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours). My major was biology with a specialisation in plant sciences, but my honours project had a focus on coding and technical skills.

“When I applied for the job at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources they asked me if have a background in plant science and I said, yes. They asked, what about coding? And I said, yes!

“They told me later they employed me because my degree gave me these skills that no-one else in the team has.”

Ellen is now using those skills to analyse data to ensure the Department’s biosecurity policy is being implemented effectively and efficiently.

“I’m having such a good time—it doesn’t really feel like work. There’s a lot of creative thinking and problem-solving.

“It’s so nice to have slipped into doing work I feel confident doing. I didn’t realise how much I had taken away from my degree until I sat down to do my job.

“Then I realised I was actually hired as an expert.”

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