01 February 2022

Future Scientist Award. Where are they now: Marilla Bickerstaff-Westbrook

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 one of our 2021 winners, Marilla Bickerstaff-Westbrook for her insights on the program, and tips for those entering this year.

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

Participating in the Future Scientist Award program enabled me to penetrate through the narrative instilled in me at university to pursue academia. The coaching and nurturing mentorship I received at PERSOLKELLY solidified my confidence, matured my networking skills and opened my eyes to the richness and breadth of opportunities available in the biotechnology and medical industry.

Can you list your three highlights from the program?

  • Networking with professionals in the field and actively listening to fellow graduate scientists’ experiences and goals has instilled my hunger to learn, be open-minded and step out of my comfort zone in reference to starting my career in the biomedical industry.
  • Developing my networking, interview and resume writing skills.
  • Realising the value of my transferrable skills to be able to bridge between fields, which is particularly relevant to my generation, expecting to have many, rather than one career.

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

  • Offered a full-time production operator role at AusDiagnostics.
  • In terms of industry work experience, getting my foot in the door immediately after graduating with an undergraduate degree from university.

What advice would you give current Science graduates?

  • Identify and fill in the gaps in your experience and skills, be it leadership, communication skills, work experience, budgeting skills etc.
  • Having a hungry aptitude to learn is equally as important as technical skills for employers.
  • Step out of your comfort zone: this is where the most character building and impressionable experiences arise.
  • Actively network and keep your LinkedIn updated.

Apply for the 2022 Future Scientist Award today!

Hear from our other 2021 finalists below.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.