09 February 2021

Future Scientist Award. Where are they now: Kang Tam

The PERSOLKELLY Future Scientist Award is now open. The Award gives science graduates the opportunity to showcase themselves to employers from Australia’s leading scientific companies, get advice on how to present and prepare for interviews from our specialist Scientific recruiters and go in the running to win $1000.

We spoke to 2018 finalist, Kang Tam, who is now working as an Environmental Scientist, to find out about his experience in the Award Program.

How did you find out about Future Scientist?

In the second year of my degree, I vaguely remember seeing a PEROLKELLY Scientific stall at my university’s STEM Career Fair. They were promoting the Award program at the time, so I kept a brochure of it until I was eligible to apply once I had graduated.

Can you describe your experience participating in the Future Scientist Award program?

I remember feeling quite nervous about it, but it was all so new and exciting to me! There was an element of freedom in participating because it didn’t feel like I was applying for a specific job with specific selection criteria. As a finalist, I was able to sell myself to a panel of professionals in a way that brought out all my best sides.

Can you list your three highlights from the program?

  • Meeting other STEM graduates and hearing about their backgrounds and career goals
  • Being able to present and network with a group of well-established industry professionals (and some of them may even be hiring!)
  • Getting hired!

How has the Future Scientist Award Program helped you in your career?

My current manager was a part of the Award panel at the time. I approached her afterwards to express my interest in getting experience in her area of expertise. While I didn’t end up winning the award, I later got offered a position as a graduate scientist at their company. Put simply, the Future Scientist Award helped kickstart my career.

What are your career plans?

The environmental sector is huge. I have been working in the contaminated sites space for the past two years. My long-term goal is to refine my technical expertise in this area, but also branch out and experience other facets of environmental work.

What advice would you give current Science graduates?

Find ways to keep yourself immersed in the industry. Do an online course, attend graduate events, see what professional associations are out there. Network with everyone you meet! Learn to celebrate small victories, be it updating your CV, forming a connection with someone who works in your industry or making it to the next stage of an interview process. And why not give the Future Scientist program a go while you are at it!

The Future Scientist Award is open to applications from those in the final semester of, or graduated in the last 12 months from a Bachelor of Science, BSc Hons, MSc or PhD (science discipline).

To win the 2021 Future Scientist Award you must complete an online application, including uploading a current resume, your academic record to date, and tell us why you think you should be the Future Scientist Award winner for 2021.

Apply for the 2021 Future Scientist Award today!