Episode 61 – How to be a confident networker

This week we had the great pleasure of chatting with Joshua Tinner who is full of fantastic advice about how to build your professional networks. Josh currently the Country Manager of the UK team at InternMatch, a company that helps students and graduates find internships as a step towards employment. Previously Josh has worked in a variety of businesses including managing the administration of a migration consultancy, helping run the division of Melbourne for two federal elections, assistant-coaching a football team, and seven years of bartending. As demonstrated through this loose associations of jobs, Josh believes that there is no one ‘pathway’ to a career and encourages people to “wander through the forest of possibilities, rather than stick to the motorway someone else has laid over it.”

The best piece of career advice that Josh ever received (as part of his EMA at the University of Melbourne, no less!) was the following: “People focus too much on what they want to do but not where or for what reason they want to do it.” Finding your passion is all well and good but Josh wants to help people find their cause, the reason they want to do what they do, and he has built his career on helping others find their answer to this very question.

You can follow Josh and learn more about him here:


Jen (00:00:20)
Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk SciComm, a podcast by the University of Melbourne Science Communication Teaching Team.
I’m Associate Professor Jen Martin and my wonderful co-host is Dr Michael Wheeler and we believe that science isn’t finished until it’s communicated.

Josh (00:00:46)
Should we start?

Michael (00:00:46)

Jen (00:00:46)
Alright, let’s do it. Hello everybody. I’m so excited to be here with you for another episode of Let’s Talk SciComm. And as always, I am joined here by my very good friend Michael. Hello Michael.

Michael (00:00:59)
Hey Jen, I’m very excited to be here, early in the morning because we’ve got a very special international guest who is going to share insights with us on how to be a confident networker.
And our listeners will know that networking is a skill that can help you advance your career, expand your knowledge and also build meaningful relationships, especially with people who share your passion.
But while it can open many doors, it is challenging and it is intimidating for some people, especially if you’re not used to talking to strangers or promoting yourself or dealing with different perspectives.
So that’s why we have an expert. And we’re very excited to talk to Josh Tinner. Josh is the Country Manager at InternMatch, which is a platform that connects students with Australian employers for internships and graduate roles.
Josh has a wealth of experience in marketing and business development and he’s worked with some of the world’s leading education and training providers, such as the Knowledge Academy and Outcome Life.
Josh, you’re also a Melbourne Uni alumni. And you’ve studied a Bachelor of Arts with Honours, with a major in History and Philosophy, and then a Master of Arts with a focus on business communication and leadership.
But that is not all that you’ve been up to at Melbourne Uni. You were also a part of the University Debating Society I see, which is very interesting, and also the University Blues Football Club.
I believe you are… I don’t know if you’re still an avid footballer, but you certainly were an avid footballer, an award-winning footballer. I’ve heard about this Anzac award Josh. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Josh (00:02:44)
Yeah, sure. Well first thing I have to say that after that intro, when you say “We’ve got a very special guest from overseas and he’s here to talk to us”, “It’s Santa Claus” is what I was expecting to hear.

Michael (00:02:56)
Yeah, I got that wrong. I called you Josh.
I couldn’t… That’s your, that’s Santa’s real name.

Josh (00:03:00)
My friends call me Josh, it’s OK. Or no, St Peter sometimes, if it’s formal.
Yes, no, I did. I had a star-studded football-playing career and in fact I copped a couple of those star-studs to the face one day when I was about 13 or so years old I think it was, on the Anzac Day match.
And I got sent off the field with a face full of blood and came back on half an hour later with a massive bandage wrapped across my head. And because I was showing the Digger spirit, so I won the Anzac Day Award for that.
I cannot remember if we won or lost. I’m sure there’s a photo of me somewhere with this huge bandage around my head. Good times.

Michael (00:03:35)
Hopefully that lack of memory has nothing to do with the concussion that you might have sustained. But it’s nice that you won an award for that.
And in the theme of talking about what you’ve been up to previously at Melbourne Uni, you are still involved with Melbourne Uni because you have been a regular guest for us, coming to talk to our science communication students about all things employability, networking and interviews in particular.
And you are absolutely a favourite guest, Josh. So we’re so excited to have you on the podcast today. Thanks so much for joining us.

Josh (00:04:12)
No, that’s okay. And thank you both for having me. Seriously, I think this is definitely one of those times where you guys keep saying how happy [you are to] have me on, but I keep saying I’m so happy to be on.
‘Cause I honestly think I’m the one who’s getting the most out of this ’cause I get to practice my talking. And I think that’s something that I need to get a little bit, a little bit better at.

Jen (00:04:30)
I really want our listeners to understand just how dedicated you are, Josh. So Josh used to live in Australia and that’s where we first came to know Josh and love Josh and interact with Josh. But as we said, an international guest, Josh now lives in the UK.
And when we said to Josh, “You know, we’d still love you to give your lectures. Is there any chance you could do that?”
And Josh said, “Yeah, yeah, sure.”
We said, “Oh, but look, the time difference is going to be horrendous. We can’t change our lecture time. So how about we do a pre-record or we find a different way? The last thing we want you to do is to be teaching in the middle of the night.
And Josh being Josh, “Oh, no, that’s fine. I’m super happy to do it. I really enjoy it.”
So the first lecture was at midnight, which you know, that’s tolerable, right? But the second lecture that we’ve just had in the most recent semester was at 2am for Josh.
Josh is like, “No, that’s fine. I’m really happy to do it.”
So, Josh, you are really quite remarkable in your dedication to supporting students in developing their skills. And we are massively grateful.

Josh (00:05:25)
That’s all good. But Jen, I do have to correct you slightly there in that you didn’t ask me to come to the UK, to do it from the UK.
I had to preempt that you would say, “Thanks Josh, but now you’re in the UK. I’m not going to bother you anymore.”
So I reached out to you and said, “Jen, I’m going overseas, but I’m still here”.

Jen (00:05:40)
We believe that there is a moral in that for effective networking about reaching out.
Maybe that, that’s a really good link to our topic for today.

Josh (00:05:41)
About reaching.
Ooh, a Segueway.

Michael (00:05:52)
We’re really coming into the stride of our segue, Jen, I reckon.
Do you know what? Maybe the podcast would be just pure segue after segue?

Jen (00:06:00)
Let’s try it. That would be fun.

Michael (00:06:02)
OK, we’re getting there. We’re getting there. And so we’ve segued into the world of networking, everyone. We know that’s what today’s episode is about.
Josh, you are an expert in this. I would like to take it back a few steps now. And for the first question, I’d love to know, when did you first learn that there was this activity called networking?

Josh (00:06:23)
Well, I was extremely fortunate in that I got to learn about the world of networking from a very young age. And that’s because I would call both of my parents excellent networkers.
But they’ve built, managed to build a successful business off being able to both build and then maintain relationships.
So I got shown the value of what a good relationship can become. But I also got to see the effort that goes into that. Because I know a lot of people and then honestly even myself, sometimes when you look at some of these larger conferences or these bigger ones that are huge and expensive, and you’re going to spend a week in the Hilton in Monte Carlo and doing all of this. Is you look at that and go, is it really, is there really something out of that? Or are people just taking company’s money and playing golf and getting pissed for a week, right?
And the real answer of course is bit of column A, bit of column B. But there really is something to networking. So I was very fortunate.

Jen (00:07:20)
Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting reflection, right? ‘Cause I don’t imagine there are many people out there who would say, “Yeah, I started learning about networking as a child.”
But the fact that you were able to see it done well and presumably see all of the benefits that it brought to your parents, professionally but probably also personally, it’s great to have lots of people in the world that you like and that you know. I think that’s really fascinating.

But so Josh, talk to us then about your job now, because you know, I’ve heard you speak about networking. It’s something that you have really fabulous advice on, which clearly we’re going to get to soon.
But it’s obviously something that you’ve taken what you saw your parents doing, and you’ve reenacted that in your own world. What is your current role and how important is networking and what you do at the moment?

Josh (00:08:03)
So my role basically is networking, in a couple of different ways with some operational stuff sprinkled over the top.
So officially, I’m the country manager for the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent the EU for InternMatch. So we’re a global organisation now. We don’t just work in Australia. We work in North America, South America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Europe and Australia.
So I’m now in charge of the UK, but everything that entails. So finding a team, building a team, hiring them, training them up, finding clients, connecting students with companies. Everything that falls under the banner of what you’d think of when you think of running a business. I get a lot of autonomy here.
But one of the most important parts of my role is being able to network. And I look at that kind of networking in two ways. I look at networking within the business and networking without the business.
Because now that we’re a global team, there are resources all throughout the however many dozens or hundreds of people we now employ around the world, that I need to be able to find out who that person is, where they are, what they do and what they’re going to be able to do to help me.
And that’s exactly the same as when I look outside the business, as I’m sure that right now there are dozens of people sitting around London that I could help. But I don’t know who they are, where they are, what I can do to help them and how we can start talking to each other.
So my role is networking in a lot of different ways.

Michael (00:09:30)
Yeah, it sounds like a really broad role. And I guess networking is really broad in general, right? It’s this activity that can exist in so many different forms and in so many different contexts.
But yet it is really essential to career progression. And it’s hard. It’s really hard. I’d love to get into the nuts and bolts of it now.
I’d love to know how do you manage your time and energy when you’re networking, particularly when you’re advising other people who may be different. So you might have people who are more introverted, people who are more extroverted. How does that, might that advice change for different people around you know, managing time and energy?

Josh (00:10:15)
It’s a really really good question. And I’ll preface it that if I had the perfect answer Michael, I would be an extremely wealthy person.
So it’s a difficult one because people like me who are extroverts, and I am very much the textbook definition of an extrovert, in that I get my energy from being around people. So I naturally want to be around people and I want to be talking with people because when I don’t, I feel tired and I feel flat.
That being said, some of the better people that I’ve ever met who’ve been able to build a career out of networking have actually been introverted, because what they’ve been able to figure out is how do I get that energy? How do I get out what I can get out while putting in not too much? So I’m not going to burn myself out afterwards. So there’s a lot that can be said I think about managing energy.
But I really think that when it comes to it, a lot of people will underestimate how much they can do because a lot of those, a lot of the barriers around the energy side of things and about being able to, Oh, what can I do here? is just taking that first step.
If somebody comes up to me and says, “Look, I’m a bit of an introvert. I’m struggling to go to a networking event because you know, it’s scary and there’s lots of people that I have to talk to.” What I have found works from the people that I’ve spoken to is about trying to help them empathise with the person that they’re going to be speaking with.
What I mean by that is that it’s very very easy to fall into the trap of when you’re, especially when you’re first going to a networking event, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of everybody else in this room is confident. They’re in charge, they know what they’re doing, and everything’s great. And I’m the only one who’s really scared.
And it is simply not true. Most people in the room are going to be nervous. They’re going be really self-conscious. They’re going to be thinking about, “Oh, God, I can’t only speak to one person. I have to make sure that I’m getting something out of this. So how do I say that I don’t want to talk to this person anymore, but I don’t want to be rude and da-da-da?” Everyone is having this own constant internal self-doubting monologue.
And that’s got nothing to do with whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. The difference is that an extrovert, I look at that and go, “Cool. This is the pressure that gets me going.” Whereas an introvert, it’s the, “Ooh, this is the pressure that might hold me back.”
Either way, I think that once you understand that other people in the room are just as nervous as you, it helps humanise them.
And what I’ll say to a lot of people is it’s just a conversation. It’s not any bigger than that, and it’s not any less than that. The context is of course different.
But really, you’re there to have a chat. You’re going to ask them what they do. You’re going to ask them why they do it, how they came to it. You’re going to ask them which football team they follow, and hopefully they don’t say Collingwood. They’re going to ask you the same questions.

Michael (00:13:21)
Yeah, yeah. It’s all about the entry into that conversation, finding things in common.
So would you ask them about their, you know, if everyone has an inner monologue of self-doubt, could you start with that?

Josh (00:13:33)
Ooh, interesting. I have definitely. And it’s funny you ask that. So the first networking event that I came to in the UK. So I went to a networking event at the Australia-UK Chamber of Commerce.
And I went with a friend that I dragged with me from work because I said, “I don’t want to go to this thing alone. I need to have someone to walk in there arm-in-arm with me.” So there’s tip one. Bring a friend if you would like. But you need to make sure that you don’t just stick with that friend the whole night.
But after we walked in and after we chatted a little bit and kind of got the lay of the room, it wasn’t even me who approached someone else. Someone else approached me. And it was a bit of an older guy, and he was by himself. And he could see that the two of us were gauging the room and trying to figure out where we could step in ourselves. And he literally just walked up to us and said, “Okay, so I’m not the only nervous loner here.” And we both just laughed. And that was seriously how we started the conversation. That was it.
And you know, I can’t say something like that without throwing out a little bit of caution in that not quite everybody is going to respond to something like that the same way. But this guy got it right because he got me and my friend talking and we talked the rest of the night and I’ve stayed in contact with him since.
So if you’re not sure what to say to somebody, just get them talking about themselves. And it is a piece of advice that I’ll pass on a lot. You can have a 10 minute conversation, and a conversation in inverted commas with somebody where you just ask them to tell you their life story. They’ll tell you their life story and then you’ll walk away. And they’ll think that they’ve just had a fantastic conversation with you about well, themselves.
So it’s a really easy thing. And I think that’s another really good piece of advice for people who are going to their first networking events. Ask questions.

Jen (00:15:22)
So Josh, just listening to you, you keep saying networking events. And I really want to explore a little bit more because we are giving our students advice all the time.
And I think people in general get advice all the time. Networking is essential. You must network. You know, you will only find jobs through your network.
So the messaging is really clear. But are we only talking kind of structured networking events that you see advertised somewhere and you RSVP for?
I assume, you know, networking can be a whole lot of different things. And that somebody who’s thinking, I’m really not up to signing up to going, walking into a room full of people, I don’t know. There are other ways to network, right?

Josh (00:16:01)
One hundred percent there are. So it certainly doesn’t have to be a formal, structured, we’re going to go to a place with business people and get to know each other.
Don’t get me wrong. Those events are also fantastic as well, particularly when you’re targeting something specific. Finding the right event or really finding the right community is extremely important.
But networking is everywhere. And even if that’s in a cafe, on a tram, in a co-working space, the ability to just have a conversation with somebody about anything.
You never know who somebody is, ever. And you never know who they know.

Michael (00:16:45)
Yeah, it’s a good way of putting it.
It’s almost like maybe you know, networking is a bit of a label that makes it seem like this uber professional activity. You know, where you have to wear a suit and tie and have a firm handshake.
But what you’re saying is it’s actually just a broader definition than that. And it’s about everyday interaction as well.
And not talking about work. You know, talking about other stuff. That’s also part of networking right?

Josh (00:17:12)
Yeah, absolutely. So I guess in my head, when I think of networking, I literally think of the old school… Well, it’s not old school, it still happens, the IT networking, where literally what you’re doing is you have a cable and you’re plugging one thing to another thing to connect them. And you start plugging a lot of these different things together and they overlap in different ways. But they’re all kind of related. You build a network, and that’s literally what networking is.
It’s just connections. It’s not formal handshake, suit and tie. That’s one of these cables. That’s one of these forms of networking. It’s not going to a co-working space and chatting with people sitting next to you. That’s one other form of networking. It’s this whole collection of activities that fundamentally comes down to communication.

Jen (00:18:03)
And Josh, if someone’s listening to you thinking, Well, that’s all well and good for you, Josh. You said you’re an extrovert. You’ve obviously got the gift of the gab. You’re very experienced.
But actually for me, the thought of being in that sort of situation is just absolutely terrifying. I’m going to feel so awkward. I’m not, I just don’t want to be judged. You know, I don’t want to be judged on have I dressed appropriately? You know, am I asking the right questions?
You know, I can imagine a lot of people like you know, I just can’t imagine doing that. What’s your advice for sort of taking that first step and realising… I mean, I know you said everybody is nervous. But if someone is really worried about being criticised or just not feeling comfortable, I don’t know. What are your thoughts?

Josh (00:18:44)
We all in some way, shape or form work with other people. We’re going to form opinions of other people and other people are going to form opinions of us. That’s an inescapable part of life.
But by going to a networking event, and this is why I like to start with trying to get people to empathise with how other people are feeling, is that they are so self-conscious about what everyone else is thinking about them.
They’re not forming a perception of you. They’re worried about what you think about them. They’re worried about what everybody else in the room is thinking about them.
For me, I find that quite liberating. Because I get to walk into a room and go, well, no one’s going to realise that I’m standing here a little bit awkwardly in the corner with a glass of wine in my hand and I’m kind of waiting for a gap in the conversation to stand in.
Because everyone else is feeling exactly the same way, that they’re waiting for the gap in the conversation to come in as well.

Michael (00:19:43)
Yeah, it’s really interesting what you’re saying, that there is this mindset that people have that when they’re at a networking event. Like they know they’re at a networking event, you know, and it’s almost like everyone is in networking mode.
I find that really helpful because you know, let’s say I’m at a conference. People are in networking mode, right? So they expect this type of interaction to happen. You know, you walk up to someone and introduce yourself to them. They’re expecting that to happen. So I find that really useful.
Thinking about networking events then, and maybe some of our listeners, they might be going to a conference soon. They might be thinking, You know, is there anything I can do to prepare for the networking side of things?
Do you have any tips by way of preparation? And then maybe after the networking event about following up.

Josh (00:20:31)
So in all seriousness and this might sound incredibly shallow, the place that I start is what am I going to wear and how am I going to smell? So which of my colognes or perfumes am I going to wear to this event? Does it go with the blazer that I’m going to wear?
And I know that that sounds incredibly superficial. And don’t get me wrong, to an extent it very much is. But it plays into that I’m putting on an image here. I’m wanting to present myself as a certain way and I have the time to craft that look. So I’m going to craft that look.
And whilst I’m doing this, whilst I’m putting my outfit together, what I’m really focusing on internally is what’s my objective? What am I looking to get out of this conference, networking event, conversation, whatever it might be?
And one way, if you’re not really sure what you’re looking for, a really good way of figuring it out is okay, if I walk away from this, what would I just be disappointed if I haven’t achieved? If I walk away from this and you know, in a professional setting, I haven’t found any bioengineering host companies, then I’ve messed up.
It’s how am I going to get this person to start talking about themselves? Because once I get the person to start talking about themselves and once you get that kind of conversation going, it’s actually, at a networking event, really really easy to have an awful segue into…
“So anyway, what I wanted to chat with you about was I have some biomedical engineering students that I’m looking to place” because exactly like you just said, Michael, everybody is there to expect it.
It’s because it’s a stage. It’s a structured environment where people know what they’re going in for and they know what they’re going to expect.
If you just go for a one-on-one coffee with somebody to cafe, sure, the environment itself might feel more relaxed. But it is so much more interrogative because you are just sitting one-on-one with somebody for anything between half an hour and two hours, and you’ve got nowhere to hide. There is no script. There is no script.
Now, I love stuff like that because I think that there’s no better way to build a relationship with somebody than to have that one-on-one time. But if you’re not prepared for it, or if you’re feeling nervous, I think that that’s the scenario in which you’re more likely to crumble than going to a networking event.

Michael (00:22:49)
Sounds like the plot line of a terrifying movie.

Jen (00:22:54)
There is no escape.

Josh (00:22:56)
I would absolutely watch a movie.
There’s no escape.

Michael (00:22:59)
In a cafe one-on-one, there is nowhere to hide.
One man, Josh Tinner.

Josh (00:23:06)
What I’m imagining now is some sort of Turing test where there’s a man at a cafe and there’s a wall. And on the other side, there’s a robotic barista and a human barista, and they’re trying to figure out which one did this latte art in front of them.

Jen (00:23:22)
Our minds all think in strange ways. So Josh, if you were going to kind of do a pitch to someone about networking, presumably you wouldn’t just do that plot because that would terrify somebody.
But you know, if you were going to say to somebody, “Look, just trust me, networking is just an essential part of your career. If you find it difficult, that’s okay. Everybody does. But you’ll find it easier the more you do it.” You know, blah, blah, blah.
What would be the top personal story you would share about how networking has helped you, about how networking has benefited you in your career? What would be the gold story you would bring out and kind of say, “See? If I hadn’t done X, then Y would never have happened.”

Josh (00:24:03)
It’s got me my job and my career. So part of the way that I got the job that I’m currently in, aside from being absolutely phenomenal and amazing and everybody wants me…

Jen (00:24:14)
And very modest.

Josh (00:24:15)
I met somebody at a football club who happened to be working for a company that was working for an industry that apparently I desperately wanted to be in.
And it’s that messy web of you just don’t know who you know and you don’t know who they know, which is why I look at every conversation as networking.
Because when you build a relationship with somebody, when you get on somebody’s good side or when you get them to believe in whatever it is that you’re talking to them about, lots of people will be able to go, “I reckon you should go and chat with this person.”
Okay, so you go and chat with that person. You have another wonderful conversation with them and they go, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Let me put you in touch with so and so. They know a few people.” So you go and chat with so and so. And then you get along really well with them. And then they go, “Ah, I actually know the Shadow Minister for Education. I’m meeting up with them in two week’s time. Come with me. I’ll introduce you to them.”
And it’s crazy. It’s genuinely crazy how the world works like that. I think, you know, the whole seven degrees of Kevin Bacon where you’re only seven degrees away from knowing Kevin Bacon or whatever it is.
It’s real.

Jen (00:25:20)
What it makes me think of Josh that I really like is because to some extent it’s all just so messy and unpredictable. It kind of takes the pressure off, right?
Any one individual conversation may lead to an extraordinary outcome that’s transformative in your life or it may lead to nothing. And you can’t really predict that. And that’s totally fine.
Just show up as yourself. Be kind, have integrity, know who you are, know what you care about, initiate interesting conversations. And then just kind of take the pressure off and see what happens. I think that’s great.

Josh (00:25:52)
As my mother always said to me and in fact still says to me to this day, “Josh, just go with the flow. You’ve just got to learn to roll with it.”
And I’ve got two different songs running through my head at the moment. One’s the “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”. And the other one’s “always look on the bright side of life”. So they’re competing for which one I want to talk about.
But I 100% agree with you, Jen. And I look at it, my favorite way for describing stuff like that is optimistic nihilism. But the mistake doesn’t really matter because at some point it’ll get right. And the thing that’s right is the thing that will stick, not the 20 times that I failed beforehand. That’s fine.

Michael (00:26:30)
Yep. Yeah, yeah. Now, I think that’s a really important point and it does take the pressure off a little bit, that it’s a better learning experience. And as you say, Josh, it is about going with the flow.
So in the theme of taking the pressure off a little bit, we’re going to take the pressure off, Josh, now. And we’re going to go with the flow and move to the next segment of the podcast, which is our quick questions to finish off.
They are lighthearted. So the pressure is off now, Josh. We’re finished with the tough questions.

Michael (00:27:10)
The first question I’d like to ask is if you had to pick an alternative career to what you’re doing now, what would it be?

Josh (00:27:18)
Formula One race car driver.

Michael (00:27:20)
Ohh, so quick.

Jen (00:27:20)
Oh, love it.

Josh (00:27:22)
One hundred percent. I get, oh I get white line fever. And I… there’s something about F1. I don’t know what it is. I actually really don’t particularly enjoy watching the sport.
But you put me behind the wheel of any kind of go-kart. And I’ve driven some pretty bloody fast go-karts. Nah, everything stays on the track. It’s, I’m there to win and I’m there to win by as much as I possibly can.

Michael (00:27:48)
Josh, Josh, can you just remind me to never accept a lift to a networking event from you?

Josh (00:27:54)
No, no no. I’m [a] safe driver on the roads.

Jen (00:27:59)
Josh, I feel like if we ask you to keep talking about go karts, you’re going to talk forever. So I’m gonna make you jump to the next question cause these are meant to be quick questions.
Josh, what’s your proudest professional moment? And you only get a sentence to answer.

Josh (00:28:10)
Yeah, quick questions.

Josh (00:28:13)
Ooh and I only get one sentence. Damn it. You, you if you figured out my weakness here, Jen.
Which is Josh, can you say something in fewer words? Oh shit. Maybe.
What’s the famous Oscar Wilde thing? I’m sorry for such a long list. And you didn’t have much time.

Michael (00:28:28)
That was your sentence. Next question.

Josh (00:28:30)
Oh, next sentence.
Oh no… Oh, I’ve messed it all up.

Michael (00:28:34)
But you blew it in spectacular fashion, so…

Josh (00:28:40)

Michael (00:28:41)
Only joking.

Josh (00:28:40)
In all seriousness, I think certainly one of my proudest professional moments was helping somebody who was nervous to start their job, who didn’t believe that they were able to do the job. They had imposter syndrome. Those are all commas, not full stop.
To get them to the point that within 12 months they’d not only kept the job, they were running a team.

Jen (00:29:07)
Well yeah, that’s something to be very proud of.

Michael (00:29:09)
Excellent. Yeah, that is something to be proud of.
I am proud of the next question because it’s a bit of a curveball question.
You know, this is a science communication podcast Josh. And the next question I’d like to ask you is if you could go back in time to witness any science event or discovery, what would it be?

Josh (00:29:24)
I do.

Josh (00:29:35)
I would love to have seen the… as I quickly Google because I’ve forgotten the man’s name, Alexander Fleming’s face.
The morning that he came back into the lab, was like, what’s this mold I’ve got in my petri dish? I think that would be really interesting because many people would have accidentally stumbled across penicillin before Alexander Fleming.
But he was the one that didn’t throw it in the bin. So why did he look at the mould in the petri dish differently? What made him actually check what was going on and discovered arguably one of the most beneficial things that humanity has ever discovered?

Jen (00:30:14)
Yeah, I’m with you, Josh. I think that would be an extraordinary moment to witness. Just incredible.
Now Josh, the next question is you’re not a scientist, you don’t have training in science. Is there a particular topic or area in science that you find really really fascinating, that had you taken a different path in education and studied science might have been something you really wanted to learn about?

Josh (00:30:37)
If I’d stuck with science and if I’d been several orders of magnitude more intelligent, I would have loved to have gone into pure mathematics.
And the reason I say… And yes, I’m sure that a couple of people have just died on the inside because I’ve dared called mathematics science.
It is a science. It’s very close to philosophy. But it’s still a science is… well, exactly that. The pure maths is very close to philosophy.

Michael (00:31:02)
It’s interesting that you say you know, it’s closely tied to philosophy ’cause I have heard before that was it Plato who said that maths is the only thing that comes from the world of ideas. I don’t know. Maybe you can correct me on that. But here’s my segue.
Speaking of the world of ideas, there’s lots of ideas out there. You had lots of great ideas about networking Josh. But if you had to pick your number one idea, your top tip for networking, what would it be?

Josh (00:31:32)
Go to a segue driving school so you can get better ones Michael.

Michael (00:31:41)
I thought that was a good segue, but that’s…

Jen (00:31:43)
Harsh, but fair I think Josh, harsh but fair.

Josh (00:31:46)
Look, any landing you can walk away from is a successful landing, I think is how it goes in the pilots’ world.

Michael (00:31:52)
Yeah, yeah.

Josh (00:31:53)
But aside from starting a segue driving school, I think the number one tip that I would give to anybody [is] to go to a networking event.
And as cliche as it might sound, just do it. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the ifs, but, maybes. What if I rock up and put my foot in my mouth? What if my pants fall down? What if everything goes wrong? That it’s very easy to talk yourself out of going.

Jen (00:32:16)
Oh Josh, I am so delighted that you said yes, you would just do it. And you’ve been saying that continuously every time we’ve asked you to contribute to our teaching program and now to the podcast.
And I really hope one day that I’ll get to be your friend who goes to a networking event with you. I think it would be so delightful one day for us to be standing in a room having a glass of wine together, watching and working out what will our next move be? As a fellow extrovert Josh, I think we would have a lot of fun.
So thank you so much for joining us today. It’s just been such a pleasure to chat with you.

Michael (00:32:49)
Well, thank you Josh. Much appreciated.
Thanks for coming on the podcast.

Josh (00:32:53)
No, thanks again guys, anytime.

Michael (00:33:14)
Thanks for listening and thanks also to our wonderful production team, Stephanie Wong and Steven Tang for making these episodes happen behind the scenes. And thanks also to you, our listeners, for your support.
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