Madelyn Forder

Bachelor of Science graduate, 2022
After dedicating 4 months to volunteering at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Madelyn secured a full-time position with them upon graduating.

We spoke with Madelyn Forder, a Bachelor of Science graduate who achieved a rewarding job after earning her degree. Madelyn shares advice for future science graduates and how to make the most out of your time at university.

Why did you choose the University of Sydney?

Truthfully, I didn't know what I aspired to do as a career when I was in high school but I knew I loved Science and wanted to protect the environment. I had heard that the University of Sydeny had one of the best Science faculties in Australia so I decided to apply here to do a Bachelor of Science. 

Tell us about your role and what does it involve?

I work for the environmental advocacy organisation, Greenpeace Australia Pacific. In my role as an Engagement Administrator, I am part of a team responsible for the day-to-day connections the organisation has with our supporters. I action any administrative requests such as updating contact/payment details and processing donations as well as answering any questions our supporters might have about our campaigns. I've always been sociable but I'm also passionate about environmental protection so I love that I can combine both my skills and my passion into a full-time job.

Madelyn Forder
I love that I can combine both my skills and my passion into a full-time job.
Madelyn Forder

What key skills did you acquire from your degree that you continue to use in your role?

One of the most valuable parts of my degree was learning about things not directly related to my major - most of this was learned through Open Learning Environment Courses. It is so important to come out of your degree not just with a wealth of knowledge in your chosen field but an understanding of other areas too. By being exposed to other educational backgrounds and perspectives during the course of my degree, I became more open to varied opinions and accepting of people who perceive things differently than myself. 

What is your most significant career achievement or highlight?

The highlight of my career to date has been getting my job at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. I had studied their actions in university, seeing all the great work they have been doing to protect the environment and push for a “green and peaceful future”. I started volunteering for them for 4 months and then finally applied for a job. My younger self would be ecstatic and proud to know I’m doing something that is making a positive impact in my first job out of university.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your role or industry?

I wrestled with imposter syndrome - I didn’t believe I was qualified enough to apply for the position and still doubted myself when I got the job. I recognise that there are environmental, cultural and systemic factors I am unable to control that are contributing to this internal struggle. To combat this, I had to learn to trust in myself and not only accept my failures but also proudly celebrate my successes. 

What advice would you offer to students considering a career in your field?

The best advice I can give is to learn to be a great communicator. No matter the career you choose, communication is at the core of everything. It is an important skill in all industries but there is a clear gap in communication between those inside the scientific community and those outside. So the best thing you can do to be a better employee, colleague and scientist, is to improve your communication skills. Good communication will get you very far, great communication will get you wherever you want to go.