Be Inspired / 7 November 2016

ARMI PhD Danni Ratnayake, talks about her experience of volunteering at International Biofest 2016.

Danni Ratnayake headshot

I’m currently in the second year of my PhD with the Currie Group at ARMI. A few months back I saw the opportunity to take part in a conference that was different to the usual scientific conferences we attend as academic researchers.

International Biofest is the largest gathering of Australian life sciences and focuses on showcasing an assortment of national and international speakers from academia, industry and government to examine current trends and challenges in the life sciences.

I saw the chance to volunteer as a great opportunity to work as a member of a team of driven and enthusiastic students from all over Australia. Volunteering provided me with unhindered access to the whole conference program and networking events.

One experience that was of great value was the ability to network with individuals from diverse backgrounds from around the world.  My conversations with them gave me much better insight into the different career prospects for someone with a life sciences PhD degree.

I also got a better understanding of the value my PhD was giving me - the broader skills I am developing. I was pleasantly surprised as to how open everyone was to talk to students, share their experiences and give career advice. At the seminars most of the speakers stressed the importance of collaborative efforts and the need for stronger ties between universities and industry.

The experience has provided me with a fresh perspective on my PhD, and opened my eyes to new areas in biotech.