Sisterhood Series Inspires Students for the Future

Over this term, students from Years 10, 11 and 12 have been heading to the boardroom each Monday to hear inspiring stories from our alumni.

The series, held weekly during the students’ lunch break, offers them the opportunity to hear from inspiring alumni guest speakers. The girls learn about unique career paths and gain insight into how our alumni got to be where they are today. In these open conversations, guest speakers talk about the challenges and the rewards, offering tips and advice to our senior students. It is the perfect opportunity for students to make connections with successful professionals and be inspired for their own future.

Below are the alumni we have had the pleasure of hearing from in Term 2.

Cassie Silver (Class of 2006), Journalist

Previously a journalist and presenter with Seven West Media, Cassie now runs her own business, Silver Lining & Co Pty Ltd, a boutique media and communications agency. Cassie shared her exciting career journey since leaving Santa Maria to now. She highlighted the need for resilience and confidence in pursuing a career in journalism and provided tips for the girls while being realistic about the obstacles that go with the profession.  

Clare O’Connor (Class of 2018), Radiographer

Clare spoke to the girls about her journey since leaving Santa Maria, which involved studying Medical Radiation Science at Curtin University. Clare is now a radiographer based at Perth Children’s Hospital and loves what she does. Clare spoke about the advantages of having a job where you can leave work at work. She also explained to the girls that being a radiologist presented opportunities to be able to travel and pick up a radiographer position anywhere in the world.

Kristen Jones (Class of 2006), Embryologist

After graduating from the College, Kristen completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Reproductive Medicine at the University of New South Wales. She is now a Senior Embryologist at Concept Fertility Centre in Subiaco and is very passionate about what she does. Due to this specialised field, Kristen suggested the girls pursue admin or laboratory positions within clinics as a means of getting their foot in the door and gaining visibility for future job opportunities. This will establish connections, gain experience, and help become familiar with the operations and dynamics of a clinic.  

Jessica Van Dongen (Class of 2003), Lawyer

Since graduating from Santa Maria College, Jessica completed a double degree in Law and Commerce at Murdoch University and now works at Woodside as an Assistant Company Secretary & Legal Counsel. She chatted about study habits in Year 12 and how she got through her five years of university, the invaluable co-curricular activities she undertook at the College, such as public speaking, university entry pathways and the importance of a work-life balance for optimal wellbeing. 

Emily Cleaver (Class of 2020), Medical Student  

Emily may have only graduated three years ago, but she has certainly hit the ground running since finishing up at Santa Maria. She is in her third year of a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Curtin University and is highly passionate about what she does. Emily spoke about the application process for her course, what her schedule looks like these days, her love for university, and some of the sacrifices that need to be made to pursue a challenging degree like medicine.

Sam Sorensen (Class of 1980), Veterinarian

Sam shared her inspiring journey as a veterinarian. She captivated the girls as she recounted her remarkable career trajectory, from her university days to becoming the proud owner of a highly esteemed veterinary practice in Yanchep. She shed light on the diverse aspects of veterinary science, leaving our eager students fascinated and brimming with curiosity.

Alexandra Willis (Class of 2002), Architect 

Alexandra spoke about her study and career as an architect. She shared insights and experiences that have shaped her career. She highlighted the importance of building a portfolio in her line of work and how studying art at Santa Maria prepared her for the world of architecture. Alex discussed the importance of passion and perseverance in pursuing this career path, highlighting the challenges and rewards she has encountered along the way.

Ashlee Bradshaw (Class of 2004), Sonographer 

Currently, Ashlee is working at Perth Children’s Hospital and SKG Radiology as a sonographer. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging at Curtin University, Ashlee pursued a postgraduate degree in Medical Sonography from the University of South Australia. During the conversation, Ashlee chatted about the various types of medical imaging, gave a glimpse into her daily routine, talked about her rewarding rural work, and shared her insights on balancing work and motherhood.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their story this term. Stay tuned for more empowering stories from our amazing Sisterhood Lunch Series in Term 3!

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