Holly Whitfield

We have all had a “death by power point” experience and have probably spent hours of our education trying to decipher a poorly written paper. Everything we do as scientists depends on our ability to communicate it, and yet we never receive the opportunity to develop our communication skills. Until now!

I was relieved to see that my MSc (Bioinformatics) required me to enrol in “Communication for Research Scientists”, a much-needed subject for the scientists of tomorrow. I enjoyed it SO much that I came back the following semester for “Science Communication”, which focuses on communication with a broader audience.

Both subjects allowed me to workshop my written and spoken communication in a supportive environment, with valuable feedback. This has been incredibly useful in my current position as a PhD student at WEHI. As a computational cancer biologist, I communicate with mathematicians, computer scientists and biologists on a regular basis! I need to quickly adapt explanations on my feet and flip my communication style constantly.

The skills I developed in Jen’s communication subjects have eased my transition into research and have set up the groundwork for a career that will depend on effective communication.