MEET BIANCA 🐛🐖🌱🐂
I think the real question we should be asking ourselves, is do we have our blinders on in making decisions on our tertiary study and career options?
Bianca grew up in Melbourne with no prior exposure to agriculture. She had no interest in agriculture, and it definitely wasn’t something she had on her radar for tertiary study options. She had her heart set on Veterinary Medicine, ‘it was vet med or nothing’ as Bianca put it, she had her blinders on. She got into a Bachelor of Animal and Bioscience at Latrobe University, but it wasn’t long before she decided Latrobe Uni wasn’t for her. So, she moved to Melbourne to try and get into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Melbourne University, but she had one problem, it was a post graduate degree. Bianca was advised that getting an agriculture degree as her undergraduate would be a good idea. So, that is what she did, still with her one goal of getting into Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in the end. With that in mind, Bianca felt like she didn’t pay enough attention to her agriculture degree, because at the time Bianca thought there was no way she was going to pursue a career in it. At the conclusion of her agriculture degree, she applied for every post graduate Veterinary Medicine program in the country and got rejected from every single one of them. Heartbroken and still unaware of the great opportunities at her fingertips with her agriculture degree, Bianca googled agriculture jobs Melbourne, because at the very least she was adamant she was staying in the city.
Bianca applied for the first one that came up, a Customer Service role for Ridleys Agriproducts. She got a call the next morning for an interview, then a little while later she had the job. From this point on, Bianca got to see a lot more of agriculture and make connections in lots of different areas of the industry, which really opened her eyes to all the agricultural opportunities out there. Not long after starting her role in Customer Service, Bianca was promoted into a Territory Manager role, which meant leaving the city and moving 6.5 hours away to another state. In this role she was selling stock feeds, horse feed, chicken feed and dog food, among other things in the her product portfolio to many stores across Southern NSW. Which she loved, and the ball of agricultural opportunities had started rolling for Bianca. Just before Bianca got promoted, she also decided to go back to uni to do her masters in Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University. Bianca felt like she didn’t give her bachelors the justice it deserved. In finishing her masters, she wrote a dissertation looking at how to increase the number of people entering agriculture careers. But not necessarily increasing the number of people studying agriculture. Bianca focused on how to get people from other degrees/areas into agriculture that had a cross over, for example accounting, or geospatial science. The thought was if we can modify certain subjects to include agricultural examples and or applications, we could maybe change the perception of what the agriculture industry is or needs. Bianca said the writing of her dissertation was personal. She ended up in agriculture by accident, if someone hadn’t planted the seed in her head that it would be a way to get into vet, she never would have done it. Now she hopes that she can also give other people a reason to join our wonderful industry that may have never considered it. ‘Something happened to me, and it was great, and I want other people to have the information to also have that opportunity’. Bianca found her passion in ag, how cool, and is now working with her supervisor to publish her dissertation. When it is published don’t worry, we will be sharing it to our pages, and also writing a piece next week about it.
In the middle of her masters, Bianca left Ridley Agriproducts on maternity leave, but completed her masters whilst on maternity leave. Yes with a new born, talk about a superwoman. When she returned to work after having her son she started in her current role with the Rural Assistance Authority under the Department of Regional NSW. The Rural Assistance Authority is an organization which offers financial assistance to farmers in or after natural disasters. For example, droughts and floods, as well as innovation funds. Which she does from home in her office on farm in regional NSW, how cool.
Like everyone, I asked Bianca if she had any advice for her younger self, a young person with career tunnel vision, and this is what she had to say. ‘Think outside the box, don’t fall into the trap of tunnel vision in cliché pathways. Just because your mum, or sister did it, doesn’t mean its going to work for you. Find something that you are passionate about and that passion will drive you where you need to be, where you think you need to be is not always where you are meant to be’.
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