Marcella says that after she saw an internship opportunity listed on JCU’s CareerHub, she had her sights set on working with GHD as an environmental scientist.
So, she decided to go for it, and in July 2021 Marcella started her first internship. “During my third year of university I joined CareerTrackers and did an internship with GHD. This involved four weeks of internship with them, mostly doing field work and wrapping my head around the internal systems and structure,” she says.
It was the chance to do hands-on field work that Marcella says grew her enthusiasm for practical environmental management and monitoring work. “It was that experience of being out in the field that really introduced me to what I wanted to do,” she says.
After her four weeks were done, Marcella wasn’t quite finished with GHD and decided to come back for more: “I ended up returning to do another internship with them for six weeks during the summer,” she says.
Even before all of her results had been finalised for graduation, Marcella’s commitment and hard work secured her a job. “In my final week of summer internship, GHD offered me a graduate position with them in North Queensland. It was a really great opportunity and I really wanted to work with them specifically.”
The programs Marcella joined — including CareerTrackers and her graduate program — provided a clear path for her professional and career development, supporting her every step of the way. “With English as my second language and being from a whole different cultural background, GHD has supported me really well with their inclusion and diversity program.”
Goal setting and skill development were a big part of Marcella’s progression within the program. “I started off doing field work and then slowly started getting exposed to different documentation including proposals, environmental agreement (EA) amendments and applications, and then eventually reporting field work results with supervision from senior environmental scientists and planners,” she says.
“As a requirement for the end of my internship within the CareerTrackers program, I had to do a presentation for my colleagues, team leader and business leader, as well as my CareerTrackers supervisor. The presentation was a chance for me to highlight any challenges, lessons learned, achievements and my future goals.
“At the end of my first internship I set myself a number of goals, including personal ones such as getting a license and a car, but also things like graduating from my degree and getting a full-time job. These goals motivated me to put in the time and effort so that I could look back on my achievements at the end of my next internship,” Marcella say. “By the end of the second internship, I had achieved every single one of my goals.”