Current Role: Project Officer, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Ltd (formerly Australia and New Zealand Melanoma Trial Group (ANZMTG).
Degree: Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) (Public Health), Bachelor of Science (Physiology).
Since Graduating in 2017 Carla has gone on to do a wide range of roles within the healthcare industry. Carla has done everything from administration at Cabrini Hospital (whilst completing her studies) to research and clinical trial work with the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. Carla is currently working as a Project Officer for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Ltd.
Learn more about Carla’s exciting journey at university and in her career below:
Can you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do at uni, what are you doing now, what are your passions outside of work?
I completed my Bachelor of Science in 2016 and a Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in 201. My honours thesis examined incidence and risk factors for acute and chronic pain in orthopaedic trauma patients. Following on from my honours year I went on to work in Anaesthesia research (2017/2018) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, working alongside many anaesthetists, surgeons and medical staff. At the beginning of 2019 I joined the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute to coordinate a new trial. I have always enjoyed working in the medical environment and worked in administration in the operating theatres and palliative care at Cabrini Hospital whilst completing my degree. Working in medical research in clinical environments is a strong passion of mine and I hope to be able to continue to work with patients in the future. Having my sight set on becoming a doctor during my undergraduate degree, I am passionate about promoting clinical research careers to current students. I never knew that working as a clinical trial coordinator or working in clinical trial research, would be possible for me and I therefore wish to share my experience with students to help them become aware of the opportunities in clinical trials. Outside of my studies and work I love to catch up with my friends and family and enjoy all the amazing restaurants and cafes Melbourne has to offer.
Reflecting back what skills or experiences at Monash, have assisted you in your career?
Studying at Monash taught me to work both independently and as part of a team. Since entering the workforce I have found that the problem solving, logical thinking and critical analysis skills I began to learn through my Science degree are skills that are essential to succeeding in the workforce and in your career. It has surprised me just how much I have used knowledge from my Science degree in the workforce and how applicable it is to many different professional environments. Whether it be my physiology knowledge, team work or critical thinking skills that I learnt at Monash there is always a scenario where I find myself thinking that I am so grateful that I was exposed to this at University.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Do you have a career goal you are working towards?
Being a clinical trial coordinator has provided me with an amazing experience in the research industry. It has allowed me to see how clinical trials are run from beginning to end and all that is involved in getting research started and running efficiently all the way through to data analysis and presentation and hopefully then into clinical practice. I’d love to continue to develop my medical research skills and be involved in clinical opportunities. In order to further my career, it is my hope to return to study part-time to complete a Masters in Public Health.
As someone in the workforce, if you could give some advice to science students what would it be?
My advice would be to stress less, enjoy university and your studies and try to absorb everything you are being taught. I would also say that whilst your grades and study matter, industry experience and exposure are important as well. Skills that you learn in the workplace are invaluable and the more experience you can get the better. Don’t be afraid to be independent and seek those out who you wish to work for in the future and communicate, whether it be to offer voluntary work or ask to come and observe their daily activities. You never know what opportunities might come your way if you reach out!