Farhana Matin, IMNIS mentee in the 2017 MedTech-Pharma program in QLD (QUT) [Image: Emily Kilsby]

“IMNIS has helped me to elevate my confidence in my ability to foster new relationships and develop a clearer vision of what I want to achieve…” 

Farhana Matin is a final year PhD candidate at the School of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre- Queensland (APCRC-Q), Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Her major research focus is to find improved diagnostics and therapeutics for prostate cancer. She is a recipient of the QUT Postgraduate Research Award and graduated with Distinction during her Bachelor degree.

Farhana has participated in over 20 conferences/competitions where she has been awarded 13 times. She has recently received the Researcher of the Year Award (Laboratory/Basic Science- Student category) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) Health Symposium and was a Finalist in the Fresh Science QLD national competition.

Farhana participated in the QLD IMNIS Program as a mentee in 2017 to gain a better understanding of how industry functions and learn about career opportunities beyond academia. She aspires to make a difference and to generate positive outcomes for people in her adopted country and she believes this is achievable through an industry based role where the IMNIS experience has been truly valuable for her.

Why did you participate in the IMNIS program?

I participated in the IMNIS program to learn more about careers in industry. I wanted to understand my career options beyond academia so that I could make informed decisions about my future. The IMNIS program gave me an opportunity to grow as a professional and allowed me to understand and engage more broadly with industry. I believe being mentored offers unique and highly valuable means for personal and professional development.

How often did you meet with your mentor and did you prepare for these meetings? What was the best piece of advice you received? What was the most important aspect of this professional relationship for you?

I met with my mentor, Dr Carrie Hillyard once every fortnight, and on our first mentor-mentee meeting we started creating a mind map around my life goals indicating possible career opportunities after PhD completion. We narrowed down the list of options as we progressed and my mentor introduced me to people in the industry and government who very generously agreed to give their time and share their experiences with me. I am grateful to my mentor for always being approachable, open-minded and insightful. Through her I was given many opportunities to network with prominent people in the industry.

Would you recommend participating in the IMNIS program to your peers?

Yes, most certainly. The IMNIS program is a great platform for PhD students to engage with the industry, expand their professional network, and get advice and feedback from a leading industry mentor.

What was the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you?

The IMNIS program taught me that it is essential to be flexible and adapt my skills to different situations. Moreover, I have learnt to value my strengths and learn from my weaknesses to become more competitive in career positions that I will seek in the future.

Did IMNIS help you get to where you are now?

IMNIS has helped me to elevate my confidence in my ability to foster new relationships and develop a clearer vision of what I want to achieve and the positive impact I want to make as an industry professional.