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                                                                                                    COL: C M Y K
                                                                                                    9/8/08 E-1 STATE
        Engineer Deborah Chalk has a                                                                PUB: ADV EMPLOYMENT

        double degree and the world at
        her fingertips.

    4    FOCUS
         Added value
         for accountants                      48
                       Find local jobs directly at . . .
                                                           Getting girls
                                                           into science    20   SA GOVERNMENT
                                                                                Public sector

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                 Cover feature

    A heart for science
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Executive call
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Joanna Giannes
                                                                                                                                                                                                          principal consultant,
    Jill Pengelley                                                                                                                                                                                        Transformational
    Editor CareerOne                                                                                                                                                                                      Human Resources

               EBORAH Chalk, 28, is torn

    D          between building islands in
               Dubai, wind farms in the
               ocean and working on multi-
    billion dollar oil and gas projects.
       Her double degree in mechanical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NE of the most
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   fundamental human
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   needs is validation – a
                                                                                                                                                                                                         sense of purpose and identity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
    engineering and operations manage-                                                                                                                                                                   identifies our most basic needs as
    ment has opened up the world.                                                                                                                                                                        being physiological and security
       In 2001, while still at the University                                                                                                                                                            driven. The remaining layers are
    of South Australia, she joined the                                                                                                                                                                   under-pinned by how we feel
    Australian Submarine Corporation,                                                                                                                                                                    about ourselves. Our social needs
    working on business improvement                                                                                                                                                                      of needing to belong and be
    projects ‘‘looking at how the business                                                                                                                                                               accepted affects our self-esteem
    runs and how it can be done better’’.                                                                                                                                                                which, in turn, affects our ability
       In 2003, she joined the inspection                                                                                                                                                                to ‘‘self-actualise’’.
    test and trials group and talked her                                                                                                                                                                    Most people require emotional
    way on to a submarine being depth-                                                                                                                                                                   connections – this is so powerful
    charged off Port Lincoln.                                                                                                                                                                            that at times it can overcome
       She went to the manager of the                                                                                                                                                                    some of the physiological and
    group and told him it was a ‘‘once-in-                                                                                                                                                               security needs that may be
    a-lifetime chance’’.                                                                                                                                                                                 presented to us.
       The vessel was chained to the ocean            COMMITTED: Deborah Chalk says others should not follow her, but work hard on finding out what they are best suited to                                 These ‘‘needs’’ spill over into
    floor and subjected to ‘‘level-two                and where their interests and talents should lead. Pictures, cover and above: DEAN MARTIN                                                          the workplace. Employees need
    shocks, which are enough to shake it                                                                                                                                                                 to know how their work creates

    around but not demolish it’’.                                                                        In three weeks, Miss Chalk will               On Wednesday, National Science                    value, but more importantly that
                                                                                                       move back to Britain, lured by what           Week will be launched in SA, ahead                  value needs to be demonstrated
       ‘‘Imagine sitting in a massive tin can                I am not going to fall                    she calls ‘‘mega-projects’’ that KBR is       of a range of programs designed to                  through the behaviours of their
    and a giant comes along and smacks
    it with a sledgehammer,’’ she says.                      into that trap of being                   involved with, including upstream oil
                                                                                                       and gas and offshore wind farms.
                                                                                                                                                     foster interest in the industry and                 co-workers and, even more
                                                                                                                                                                                                         importantly, their managers.
                                                                                                                                                     attract more people to science careers.
       ‘‘It was, for a few moments,
    obviously a massive bang, but it was                     one of those people                         She encourages others to consider             They include touring displays,                       The transient nature of
                                                                                                                                                                                                         temporary workers multiplies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   COL: C M Y K
                                                                                                       science careers, especially engineer-         hands-on presentations, speeches,
    all over in a couple of seconds.’’                       who spends 12 hours a                     ing. ‘‘We have such a shortage of                                                                 this need. The relationship does

       A scholarship to Strathclyde Busi-                                                                                                            forums and a national tour of
                                                                                                       engineers,’’ she says.                                                                            not have the luxury of time and
    ness School, in Scotland, came next,                     day at work                                 ‘‘We can see all these things we want
                                                                                                                                                      renowned science personalities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         thus the emotional connection
    with a job at the Clyde Naval Base.                                                                                                                Now in its 11th year, the festival is             needs to occur quickly.
                                                                                                       to do and we just cannot find enough          expected to attract more than 700,000
       As a child, during school holidays                                                                                                                                                                   The process is not too
                                                                                                       people to do it.                              event participants across Australia,
    she would accompany her technical                                                                                                                                                                    dissimilar to the start of a
    sales rep father to factories and be                She has also worked on pre-                      ‘‘Starting off with an engineering          with a further 160,000 taking part in
                                                      feasibility studies for the BHP                                                                                                                    courting process – both parties
    fascinated by what she saw.                                                                        degree teaches you ways of thinking           school activities.
                                                      Billiton’s Olympic Dam expansion.                                                                                                                  ideally impart their best features
       ‘‘I was always really into maths and                                                            logically.                                      Event venues will include museums,                with the intent of creating
    physics and science and understand-                 She says she loves going to work and             ‘‘You can really spread your wings          schools, pubs, universities, public                 positive lasting memories.
    ing how things work,’’ Miss Chalk                 her passion for science has led her to           and do a lot of other things with that.’’     lecture theatres, libraries and zoos,                  Unfortunately, some
    says. ‘‘I am so fortunate I have had              share it with others, through the SA               But not everything in her world is          with the majority of events free and                organisations confuse temporary
    the influences in my life that have               Great Speakers in Schools program.               about science.                                open to the public.                                 employees with disposable
    opened my eyes and given me guid-                   ‘‘I always finish with saying that this          In her spare time, she bushwalks,                                                               employees and act accordingly.
                                                                                                                                                       National Science Week is designed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   9/8/08 E-3 STATE
    ance to pick the right career.                    is my story and I am as happy as I               makes mosaics, goes to art galleries                                                              The normal respect allocated to a
                                                                                                                                                     to recognise the importance of science
       ‘‘I went through some really good              am because I have figured out who I              and once made the national team for                                                               ‘‘permanent’’ employee goes by
                                                                                                                                                     in everyday life, commend achieve-
    career counselling.’’                             am and what I need to do,’’ she says.            the inline speed-skating world titles.                                                            the wayside for a temporary one.
                                                                                                                                                     ments in the field and encourage
       In 2006, Miss Chalk joined the                   ‘‘I followed my heart.’’                         ‘‘While I am competitive and                interest in the industry.                              With the tightest labour force
    project management group in the                     She says others should not follow              extremely driven in my career, I am                                                               figures in over a decade, the war
                                                                                                                                                     ❏ See back page for details of the Science
    Adelaide office of global engineering             her, but work hard on finding out what           not going to fall into that trap of being     Alive! expo this weekend. For events in
                                                                                                                                                                                                         on talent does not get won by only
    firm KBR, working on local defence                they are best suited to and where their          one of those people who spend 12              National Science Week, go to the website            one party showing up to the date
    projects.                                         interests and talents should lead.               hours a day at work,’’ she says.                                 turned out and interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   PUB: ADV EMPLOYMENT
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