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How a Graduate Medal can open doors for your career

Nominations for the 2020 Alumni Awards are now open
The Alumni Awards are an opportunity to single out a recent, or soon to be, graduate who deserves recognition for their efforts and achievements. Some of our past Graduate Medal winners share how it felt to receive the prestigious award and how it’s helped them in their careers.

Graduating from University can feel like the end of an era, but there’s also plenty to celebrate. The Alumni Award Graduate Medals acknowledge the incredible achievements of our most recent graduates across all degrees and disciplines – and they open doors to all sorts of opportunities. 

Why nominate someone?

The Graduate Medals honour the exceptional work being done by those just starting out in their careers. The award is included on a graduate's academic transcript. Such formal recognition can make a big impact on a fledging CV and enhance self-confidence – an advantage that can’t be understated.

The awards process doesn’t just shine a light on our talented graduates and the projects and initiatives they championed. It also reflects on all the people who surround and support our students, and make the University of Sydney an environment where leadership can flourish.

Everyone who takes the time to nominate is playing a part: classmates, lecturers, supervisors, lecturers, friends and colleagues.

Rhys Michie, who was nominated for a Graduate Medal by his lecturer and classmates, described it as a “wonderful” experience. “I was overwhelmed to read their reasons for nominating me,” he says. “It makes me think that the work I did during my time here was valued.”

Co-founder of Miriad Technologies, Dr Tomonori Hu, was nominated by his PhD supervisor. His medal “opened many doors.” The Alumni Council members he met at the award ceremony provided invaluable advice and helped him form connections that “are really helping me move forward in my career.”

“Even now, a couple of years after receiving the medal, I’m still very grateful,” says Dr Lukasz Swiatek. “A nominator only needs to give a small amount of time to give a nominee an enormous amount of joy. A Graduate Medal isn’t just an amazing end to one chapter; it can help open new chapters.”

Network with past winners

A key part of the Graduate Medal process is the award ceremony, where all the recipients of both the Graduate Medals and the Alumni Awards are able to meet and share their work. It’s a networking opportunity like no other for recent graduates, who mingle with well-established alumni from a wide range of careers.

“I had the pleasure to meet some incredible people from the Alumni Council who gave great advice,” says Dr Tomonori Hu. “You can’t buy this kind of experience – those connections are really helping me move forward in my career.”

“There are so many wonderful people involved in and achieving so many different and interesting things at the University. These awards are a celebration of this diversity and excellence,” says Lavinia Chrystal, who was awarded the Graduate Medal for sporting achievement. She has since moved to Norway to head up a division of a telecommunications company.

“Meeting the right people and having the right conversation can lead to so many opportunities,” adds Tomonori. Lukasz agrees, “A Graduate Medal doesn’t just provide an amazing end to one chapter; it can also help open new chapters.”

Nomination categories

Achievement takes many forms, which is why our Graduate Medals span several categories:

  • The Convocation Medal for undergraduate leadership
  • The Edmund Barton Medal for postgraduate leadership
  • The Rita and John Cornforth Medal for research excellence
  • The John C Harsanyi Medal for innovation
  • The Nigel C Barker Medal for sporting achievement
  • The Sister Alison Bush Medal for contribution to Indigenous community

Nominations for a Graduate Medal in the University’s 2020 Alumni Awards are now open. You could choose someone you know personally to have made a real difference in their study, extracurricular pursuits or community involvement, or someone you know by reputation. The person could be a well-known success story or a quiet behind-the-scenes achiever. 

Submit your nomination by the closing date of 8 November 2019.

2 November 2018

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