“The biggest barrier I faced was culture shock when I came to Australia from my country, India. This impacted me a lot especially on the career front as I hesitated to initially interact with people”
Dr Anjaleena Anthony is an Applications Specialist at Promega Corporation. Anjaleena describes herself as a passionate scientist with an ambition to learn and spread the flavours of science. From a very young age, she was always intrigued by various scientific processes and would sit glued to the television watching documentaries on human biology, disease concepts and space science.
Dr Anthony was fond of mathematics and science throughout her school years, and went on to pursue an undergraduate degree in biotechnology. She enjoyed this course immensely, but was uniquely enthralled with the concepts of immunology. After her undergraduate degree, Anjaleena decided to widen her career horizons. She came to Australia in 2012 to pursue her Master in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics. This was an important influence in her academic career, as she moved on to pursue her PhD in malaria research at the University of Melbourne.
During her PhD, Anjaleena immersed herself in developing her core academic and extracurricular skills. She mentored students pursuing science both at school and university levels, and found this most rewarding. Early on in her career, Dr Anthony understood the power of networking and the importance of mentoring, and was selected to participate in a year-long industry engagement program – the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM – a game-changer for strategising her career goals. Her industry mentor helped her prepare for the vast scientific industry prospects, and also supported Anjaleena in polishing her communication skills. She networked and made several industry contacts, honed her presentation skills and took initiative wherever she found an opportunity. This approach not only led to Dr Anthony current role at Promega, but also made her an open-minded thinker.
What has been the biggest barrier you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
The biggest barrier I faced was culture shock when I came to Australia from my country, India. This impacted me a lot especially on the career front as I hesitated to initially interact with people. I overcame this shortcoming by starting to go to random talk nights of speakers from diverse professional backgrounds. Very soon I realised that it is crucial to communicate and to network effectively. Soon I became more active on professional social media platforms, like LinkedIn, that further added to my existing career knowledge.
What would you say is your most valuable personal attribute that has helped you succeed?
My most valuable personal attribute that always helps me succeed is something I developed and polished overtime. It is undoubtedly my Pro-Active nature. This attribute has helped me immensely to build my social and professional circle, try different career activities, talk to different people and build up a strong network. My pro-active nature also keeps me always on the foot to keep engaging, learning and trying new career routines. Most importantly, this attribute has taught me to become more confident in the first place and have a ‘never say never’ attitude in life and has soothed my risk-taking potential.
What are you most proud of in your STEMM career?
In my STEMM career I am most proud of staring my industrial job straight after my PhD. I am very thankful to my own career choices, belief in the right people and a positive relationship with all my career mentors. I am proud of making time around personal and professional things in life and always keeping back-ups of my back-ups. Lastly, I am very thankful to all my failures that led to better practical outcome for me in life.
If at times your confidence is shaky, where do you turn? What/who empowers you?
Confidence is self-learnt! It is something that gets better with time. It is an attribute that is an amalgamation of various individual traits. In times of not-so-confident moments, I tend to take a step back, breathe, think, plan and try again. I tend to take frequent travel breaks on the weekends or listen to good music to calm my senses down and hit my restart button. I also have a habit of keeping several back-ups and constantly upgrade and amend my planning cycle.
If you have done a PhD – what are your transferable skills? How did you identify them?
As a PhD grad, we have heaps of transferable skills, that we ourselves aren’t aware of if not taught properly. To begin with, I identified my transferable skills by going to various networking events, participating in various mentoring programs, and talking to senior friends. Some of the transferable skills are, and not limited to time management, leadership, communication, project management, risk assessment, financial planning, teamwork, independent thinking, computing, good listening abilities, negotiation, and being optimistic.
LinkedIn: Anjaleena Anthony