To celebrate 10 years of the Gateway Programme, we have invited 10 alumnae to share their experiences of Gateway and discuss their careers since leaving Murray Edwards. We will release one new video or written interview each month until the end of 2021.
An interview with...Na'ama Goldberg
Na’ama Goldberg (MEC 2011) read Land Economy (first year) and Geography as a student. She currently works as a Project Manager in the smart mobility field.
What do you think is the best thing about Murray Edwards?
The gardens are the best thing about Murray Edwards. They are always beautifully kept with numerous little corners for someone to escape and immerse themselves in a small piece of nature. I recall looking out from my room many times in first year over the grass and onto the library, a truly wonderful view. Unlike many other Colleges, students can walk across the grass which lends a sense of inclusiveness not found in many other places. The gardens also serve as the backdrop to some of the most important events in your College life – matriculation, garden parties (arguably the best) and graduation.
What do you remember most about the Gateway Programme?
I think the experience that stuck with me the most from the Gateway Programme was the visit we had from a College alumna who spoke about her career journey after university. She also presented her CV and walked us through very useful tips about how to structure our own resumé and what kind of language to use. I have always found that hearing about the experience of others, their challenges and triumphs, provides me with some perspective of what I may expect when beginning my own journey, and helps prepare me for how I should face my own experiences.
How has your career developed since leaving Murray Edwards?
My career has developed in a very interesting way since leaving Murray Edwards, with many opportunities and changes coming my way. For that reason, Sheryl Sandberg’s (COO of Facebook) description of modern careers in her book Lean In continues to resonate with me. She describes careers as a jungle gym where people move laterally and upwards across jobs and sectors rather than following a linear path in one industry for their entire professional life.
By starting off working as a Management Consultant for Accenture, I gained the skills and tools required to manage and lead software implementations for clients. I used all I learnt in my path thereafter to co-establish an NGO in the smart mobility field and now as a project manager for a software company that helps improve safety and roadway management across the world.
Looking back, moving into the urban development field was the right decision for me to pursue my interest in making our cities better places to live in. I am also glad that over the period of my career thus far I took opportunities that presented the most room for growth and pushed myself to develop in unfamiliar fields and settings.
What has surprised you most about working life?
I think what surprised me most about working life is how different it is from the educational setting I had spent my entire life in until that point. I realised that interpersonal skills are as important as intelligence, and at times more important, since a lot of our success as workers depends on our relationships with colleagues and clients and not solely the output we deliver.
Importantly, I learnt the value and criticality of what it means to be part of a team that is genuinely moving and working towards a shared goal, and the required skills for making that team effective (including transparency, empathy, organization and foresight, among others).
What careers advice would you give to current students?
Remember that at the beginning of your career you are learning what you don’t want to do as much as what you do want to do. That means that it’s important to try and amass as much diverse experience early on in your journey and that you should try to remain open-minded about pursuing new avenues that spark your interest. I would also say that you should pursue opportunities that have always excited you so that you can examine if those are right for you moving forward. In doing this you may find that things that looked glamorous and attractive from the outside are not quite what they lived up to be when you reach them. It’s okay to be disheartened and disappointed by this realization but remember that there is a wealth of opportunities out there in roles that will interest you. With time you will learn to identify what you enjoy as well as what you are good at, and that is what you should follow.