Alumni Convos – Lynette Plenderleith

Name: Lynette Plenderleith

Current Role: Science Media Freelancer 

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (Biological Sciences); Master of Science (Biology); Bachelor of Science (Natural Sciences)

Lynette is currently working as a freelancer, specialising in Science for the Media. Lynette works mostly in television but her dream is to create her own feature length documentary within the next 5 years.  

Get to know Lynette and learn about her journey after university in the interview below: 

What were you highlights of studying at Monash?

The day I handed in my Ph.D. thesis is among the best days of my life. I was escorted from my office by a parade of peers with party hats and a ukulele and we walked together through campus to the graduate office singing and cheering. What I remember most of Monash is the support I got from academics, administration staff and fellow students alike. I could have asked for no more.

What made you want to study at Monash?

Monash University had the course I wanted, the supervisor I wanted and because it is one of the top Universities in the country, it was a pretty easy decision!

Looking back, what skills or experience from Monash have helped you in your career?

Science is one of the best subjects to study to gain transferable skills. I made the switch from scientist to media freelancer without retraining or expanding my skill set. Everything I use in my day to day work – project management, budgeting, writing, presenting – are all skills I acquired or improved at Monash.

Tell us a little more about your current role, what does a typical day at work look like for you? 

I don’t think I have a typical day at work! In some ways, it’s just like everybody else’s – I sit at my desk with a cup of tea and do my best to ignore emails. I think although I’m doing what I always hoped to do, the job itself looks very different to the way it did 20 years ago. Television has become a nebulous entity, mostly online in one way or another. Print media are now on the internet. Mostly I am surprised that I don’t resent the technology. I took a long time to warm to modern methods, preferring for many years a paper and pen and real-live book. Not only have I learned to live with it, but I think embracing it is the only way to make it work. 

If you could go back what advice would you give yourself as a student?

Keep on keeping on. Don’t worry about where you’ll be in five years, ten years, twenty years. Don’t worry about not having a plan. Just do your best and the rest will fall into place. 

What advice would you give to a job seeker fresh out of uni?

Be patient! I spent most of my first year after my BSc being sad and disappointed. I felt like my degree was worthless and that I would never be employable. Turned out that was a long way from the truth!

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