Student workshop series

August 27th, 2020

Customised workshops to help build your employment toolkit | OCTOBER

The Software and Computational Systems (SCS) student series of workshops is designed to equip our students with extra tools that set them up to thrive during their time with SCS, and into employment.

This series of three workshops will focus on practical skills for students – how to write a competitive CV; how to approach self-marketing on social platforms; how to merge from independent research into group collaboration; how to generate and manage commercialisation opportunities. The sessions will also exposure students to real-world accounts of career journeys from senior research experts.

Presentation resources for participants will be available here for CSIRO staff.

Monday, 12 October, 12:00-13.15 AEST


This 75-minute session is designed to expose students to real-life career journeys, shared by professionals at various stages of their career. This includes a former student, an early career researcher, a senior research scientist, a research director and an external expert.

Speakers and selected ‘pearls of wisdom’:

  • Dr. Sanjay Mazumdar | Chief Data Officer and Partner, KPMG – “Working in R&D is a rollercoaster. You will have your ups, you will have your downs, sometimes you feel like you are upside down… You are chasing new funding. You are working on the bleeding edge of technology. There’s different ups and downs but that is what makes it interesting.”
  • Dr. Shahriar Badsha | Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering , University of Nevada – “You need to enjoy your work. If you don’t enjoy it, you need to find something else. Find your strength and then do something around your strength.”
  • Dr. Anna Lyons | Engineer, Ghost Locomotion – “Having done the PhD is generally more valuable than the work itself – shows what you can do, opens many opportunities.”
  • Dr. Nick van Beest | Senior Research Scientist and Team Leader, Business Processes and Legal Informatics team, SCS, Data61 – “I think particularly in the beginning of your career getting a bit of visibility would definitely help you. Visibility could be through various ways, like either having a few killer publications… or impact, making sure that there is a real life application of your work.”
  • Dr. Chandra Thapa | Postdoctoral Fellow, SCS, Data61 – “Learn how to sell your works and convert criticism as feedback for improvement.”


Wednesday, 14 October, 12:00-13:30 AEST


This 90-minute session is designed to equip students with practical tools to support career readiness and progression. It will cover practical topics like how to write a competitive CV, how to transition from independent research to group collaboration, and how to manage personal marketing on professional social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Have your CV handy for this session!

Speakers and selected ‘pearls of wisdom’:

  • Dr. Camilla Myers | Publishing Adviser, CSIRO – “CVs get interviews, people get jobs!”
  • Suzie Drummond | Organisational Development Advisor, CSIRO  – “Portfolio-based careers are more common today. That is where you may be in the same organisation but moving around areas, or you may be working across different organisations on a range of projects and experiences and that is really helping to build up your portfolio of research experiences.”
  • Alison Donnellan | Communication Adviser, Data61 – “Make sure that your LinkedIn content is keyword optimised, not buzzword optimised.”


Friday, 16 October, 14:30-15:30 AEST


This 60-minute session will present the opportunity for students to fire their burning questions about career development and progression at a panel of five senior management representatives and award-winning research scientists.

This may include questions like what a good/bad day looks like, how they promote themselves and their research, their three top tips for succeeding in the competitive research arena, how they manage set-backs, how they got to where they are, the mistakes they made along the way, and what—if anything—they would do differently.

Panellists and selected ‘pearls of wisdom’:

  • Dr. Cathy Foley | Chief Scientist, CSIRO and recipient of the Order of Australia  – “Learn to give a good talk to sell your talk and sell your research. Practice your talk six times before you give it. Always put up your hand to give a talk.”
  • Dr. Jon Whittle | Director, Data61 – “The thing about a PhD is that you are developing a set of incredibly transferrable skills. It is not just the research skills that you are able to deep dive on a particular topic, but you are probably also very good as a collaborator and good at networking. You are also probably a very good independent thinker. You are also probably very creative.”
  • Dr. Liming Zhu | Research Director, Software and Computational Systems, Data61 – “Be open to new experiences and new challenges, but focus on your intrinsic value.”
  • Dr. Sherry Zu | Senior Research Scientist and Julius Career Award winner, Software and Computational Systems, Data61 – “The difference between a PhD and a postdoc position is that you should be more independent. Although you can still ask for advice from your supervisors, you should be able to make wise decisions.”
  • Dr. Marie Truelove | Product Manager, Data61 – “Be open to opportunities and be brave. Often the opportunities before you are not what you had in mind, but they are often the most exciting opportunities.”