My Melbourne with Holly Bracken

October 12 / 96

What is your unit?

Academic Support Team, Melbourne School of Graduate Research.

What is your job title?

UpSkills and 3 Minute Thesis Coordinator.

How long have you been with the University? 

I started as a casual in February and began my full time position in April.

How did you come to work at the University?

After working in the non-profit sector for several years, I found myself looking for a change. I have had a few friends working at the University and thought it would be a good challenge.

Describe your typical day.

I run the UpSkills program, which is a series of free workshops, classes, seminars
and webinars open to all University graduate researchers. I coordinate the presenters, student enrolments, room bookings and the technology for these sessions, as well as liaising with our graduate researchers to see what support they require to conduct research for and write their thesis.

I coordinate the 3 Minute Thesis Competition. I am responsible for advertising the competition, convincing graduate researchers to enter, finding judges, running heats and coordinating training and practice sessions.

What is it about your job that holds your interest or is particularly satisfying?

I have really enjoyed running the 3 Minute Thesis Competition. I love working with our graduate researchers, hearing about the amazing work they are doing, and helping them communicate their research to the broader community.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

My grandfather always used to say "Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone: kindness in another's trouble and courage in your own". I think these are wise words to try to live by.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn't know? 

My other 'career' is my volunteer work with Girl Guides Victoria. I am a Leader in a Unit of 10-14 year old Girl Guides and love to take them camping and on adventures. My guiding name is Kookaburra.

Where do you buy your coffee on campus?

I'm more of a pot of tea kind of girl, but when the mood strikes for a coffee, I pop over to Lot 6 at the back of the 1888 Building.
What do you like most about the University?

I love working in the beautiful 1888 Building, with its high ceilings, stained glass and creaky staircases. My sister says I work at Hogwarts.

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