Launching careers

Sarah McConaghy-Beasley and Barry Lane

City of Mitcham’s graduate program

The opportunity to be part of the City of Mitcham’s graduate program has launched the careers of Flinders University graduates Barry Lane and Sarah McConaghy-Beasley. Both say they would not be in such rewarding work in Local Government without their Flinders education and support from the University’s Careers and Employability team.

Barry Lane (BGovtPubMgmt ’18) and Sarah McConaghy- Beasley (BSc ’18) are among 14 Flinders University graduates who took part in a 12-week pilot graduate program at the City of Mitcham last year.

‘I couldn’t be happier with the Work Health and Safety team and Mitcham Council as an employer,’ says Barry, the former car worker and fly-in fly-out mine site operator who began his degree at Flinders via the Foundation Studies pathway as a mature age student.

‘If it wasn’t for Flinders University, I wouldn’t be where I am today,’ he says.

From help with resume and job options, to basic skills in public speaking and communicating with the public, Barry and Sarah say the combination of their university degrees and help from Flinders Careers and Employability has been invaluable.

Sarah says the Flinders Careers and Employability team were instrumental in her making an application via video presentation to Mitcham Council.

‘To be honest, I would not have considered working in waste management with a biodiversity and conservation degree,’ says Sarah. ‘But my degree has prepared me for working in a professional setting, and has given me confidence to work in community liaison and education in waste management.

‘It’s a growing, challenging and exciting field, which I now hope to specialise in.’

‘Once you’ve done a degree you have a better idea of where you can work,’ adds Barry, who helps manage work health and safety for almost 300 employees at the council.

‘After that, you have to start somewhere, and be flexible and responsive to any opportunity that comes along,’ says Barry who is now extending his tertiary studies to specialise in the occupational health and safety field.

Barry’s new lease of working life is even sweeter after recovering from a double lung transplant in 2017 due to cystic fibrosis – all while completing his degree. Finding a new career path during his recovery took a lot of patience – developing his resume, looking at job options, and networking in government circles, all with support from Careers and Employability at Flinders.

City of Mitcham’s Chief Executive Officer Matt Pears says, ‘Our graduate program partnership with Flinders University plays an important role in bringing innovative ideas and skills into our organisation. ‘Local Government offers attractive career paths for graduates who want to play a role in making a difference in our community.’

During the 12-week program, the graduates benefited from the Flinders Horizon Professional Development Award, which was also offered to Flinders alumni already working at the Council.

‘The Council saw the project as a way to access our talent pool and increase future leadership within the Council,’ says Flinders Careers and Employability’s Employer Liaison Officer Philippa Spencer. ‘The success demonstrates the University’s strong engagement with local councils, and the employability of our graduates.’

Many of the Flinders graduates who gained experience in roles throughout the Council during the pilot graduate program have now secured ongoing roles.

‘It’s a surprising twist working at a council, it’s a whole new world really,’ says Sarah.

Engage our students and graduates
Benefit from fresh thinking and ideas, extend your projects and capacity and be part of the development of tomorrow’s workforce – engage enterprising and innovative Flinders University students and graduates in your workplace.

2020 Encounter Magazine – Read more

Posted in
2020 Encounter magazine Environment International relations and political science Our recent graduates Science

Leave a Reply