• Question: Within your journey of becoming a flow facility manger ,what is something you really struggled with?

    Asked by Sandra to Shonna on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Shonna Johnston

      Shonna Johnston answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Thanks for your question. Careers in a core facility tread a middle path between academia (PhD students to Postdoc Research Fellows) and technical posts.
      We are scientific experts in our field yet we are there to support the research.
      I chose not to pursue a PhD after leaving university because I didn’t think it was right for me even though I wanted to stay in science. I have struggled with this over the years and have often looked at signing up for a postgraduate course as I’ve never been overly confident at presenting my work and understanding some areas of university strategy. In fact it’s unlikely that I would even get my own job now as a PhD is becoming a desirable quality for it which I think is a shame.
      However, I do have a really strong technical background and am confident with my abilities in the lab and the university is now offering leadership courses which I am currently applying to.
      I think this is the right opportunity for me and coming at the right time too.
      This had been quite a personal struggle for me and I guess is quite close to the imposter syndrome that’s become trendy recently.
      All in all, I think it’s important in any career to look for development opportunities that fit with your life too and I’m really happy with the choices that I’ve made, both for my career and for my family.
      I hope this has been an honest answer to your question.