Career Goat: Leadership

Hi All,

lisaWell I hope things are going well and you had time to attend the range of events as part of ‘Career Festival’ held at Monash.

Are you are busy preparing applications for ‘Graduate Programs’? Don’t forget you can book an appointment with me or one of the consultants in Career Connect for advice and feedback. Book your appointment here.

In this week’s edition of ‘Career Goat’ I would like to talk about ‘Leadership’.



Question: Why are leadership skills important?

A student recently asked me ‘Do I need to be managing staff to be considered a leader?’ My answer was, ‘No You don’t need to be directing/managing staff to demonstrate good leadership skills’. The Monash approach to leadership:  As our students learn how to lead, they cultivate the skills most associated with effective leadership such as

  • ethical decision-making,
  • communication,
  • self-reliance,
  • creativity,
  • conflict resolution,
  • team-building, and more.

If you are starting to explore graduate positions then you will notice that several will look for the skills outlined above:

  1. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science graduate program mentioned it values people who have strong skills in communication and teamwork.
  1. The GHD Graduate program looks for the following key attributes: excellent written and verbal communication skills, a high attention to detail, enjoy building networks and working with others.

Leadership qualities are outlined in these programs and according to Graduate Careers Australia (2010). Leadership skills was one of the top 10 skills employers wanted in graduates.

How do you develop leadership skills?

Think about your degree, work or extra-curricular activities that you are part of and ask yourself:

  • What role do I play?
  • Can I draw on these experiences to develop or identify leadership skills?

If you feel that these experiences don’t provide you with an opportunity to build leadership attributes, then fear not and consider the following options:

Monash Leadership Programs

Monash offer a broad and diverse range of leadership programs that enable students to develop leadership skills.  These programs may-be offered within the Faculty or University wide. There are also online leadership modules that can be completed in your own time and at your own pace.
Have a look at some of our  Science Faculty Leadership Programs such as

For online and other leadership program have a look at the site below.
* Note: Some of these programs will have eligibility criteria and closing dates.

Clubs & Societies

Take on active role in one of Monash’s Clubs & Societies to develop your leadership skills. For example in 2014 the Monash Science Society developed and published in conjunction with the Science Faculty a ‘2015 Careers Guide’.  The committee students developed a broad range of leadership and other skills: negotiating sponsorship, communication, managing costs, working with internal and external stakeholders, creativity in the design of the guide, just to name a few.


Meet with those that are leaders in the community or business environment, and find out how they developed their leadership qualities. Consider:

  • Joining a business group in your local area.
  • which lists a range of social and business networking groups.
  • Joining a professional association.
  • LinkedIn online work networking tool (where resumes meet social media)
  • External conferences or seminars.
  • Monash career events and seminars

These options will provide you with an opportunity to connect with, and learn from the experiences of those who have developed leadership skills in a wide range of settings.

Which program should I choose?

When you are considering any leadership program, it is essential that you do your research, talk to people, and undertake an analysis to make sure the program is right for you and that it will build the leadership skills that you need and want for your career.


It looks like stormy weather 

Bureau of Meteorology – Graduate – Nick

I have just completed my graduate year at the Bureau of Meteorology. It was a really enjoyable year where I learnt a lot and made some great friends. Now that I have completed the graduate year I have moved to the Darwin office to specialise in tropical meteorology.

At the end of 2014, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours, majoring in atmospheric science. My Monash degree, particularly my honours year helped me develop the problem solving and communication skills needed to get the job. The meteorological knowledge I gained from my degree also certainly helps with my job. I became interested in this graduate program in my first semester of Uni. The application process felt long, but was straightforward.

My top tip would be to look at the selection criteria as early as possible (well over a year in advance if possible) for the graduate program(s) you are interested in. Then do everything you can, to develop the skills needed to meet the selection criteria the best as you possibly can. Find a way to stand out from everyone else!

Good luck with your careers. Maybe I will see you at the Bureau of Meteorology one day!

Enjoy your Semester Break – Cheers, Career Goat (Lisa)

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