Alumni in Focus: Remy McGrath
Alumna Remy McGrath is a passionate thought-leader, former Science Peer Mentor and Student Ambassador, and graduate of the University's Women in STEM Careers (WiSC) program. She is currently President of the Women in STEM Alumni Network.
What did you study at University?
Biomedical Science, majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics
Are you a cat person or dog person?
100% a dog person.
Favourite place to eat when in Adelaide?
Star of Greece, Pizza e Mozarella, Parwana, Osteria Oggi. I love trying new food and restaurants, so let me know if you have any recommendations!
What drew you to your field?
I’ve always loved Science based subjects, however early on I realised laboratory work was just not for me, so I sought a Science-adjacent role in Adelaide, which landed me in the Pharmaceutical industry.
If I could go back to my University days I would…
Firstly, I would see if I could pair my Science degree with a Business degree. I would apply for more internships and summer scholarships in as many companies as possible – It's the best way to learn about a company and see if it’s the best fit for you. Finally, enjoy as many things as the university has to offer.
Most prized possession?
I have a few pieces of jewellery that are very special to me. I wear a big, statement, pearl ring which was gifted to me by my family and it always makes me very sentimental.
If you could start a charity, what would it be for?
My biggest passion project at the moment is focussing on shining a light and advocating for adjacent science careers. There are so many amazing science-based roles in South Australia, and yet we lose so much great talent to Melbourne and Sydney. Working hand-in-hand with this, I would love to support individuals who don’t have the access or funds for education.
What is your greatest career strength?
For me, I can pick up tasks and jobs pretty easily and so I find my greatest career strength my soft skills. I can read a room fairly well and I really enjoy making people feel at ease. When people feel understood and comfortable, they become confident and it makes working in teams a dream.
Something that makes you smile?
The little things; My family, catching up with my friends, my dog Ted, a good cup of tea!
What current fact about your life would most impress your five year old self?
My wardrobe. My five year-old self was obsessed with dress ups. Five year-old Remy would be truly happy with the heels and dresses and jewellery I have. However, I think I thought I would have a lot of dogs… Something to aspire towards, I guess.
Something you are grateful for?
The opportunities I have been given by others, the support and mentoring I have received by the many successful and driven women in my life, having a supportive partner and a loving family.
What is your dream role?
I’m not sure it currently exists. But being in a company where I get to promote the successes of women in their careers and helping other women achieve their goals.
What’s your favourite flower or plant?
My favourite flower of all time are peonies. However, since moving into my new home, I’m grateful for anything that can brighten the room.
What do you wish someone had told you after you graduated?
It’s okay to not know what is next or where you are going or if you’ve made the right decision. I struggled making career-based decisions when I was finishing up at University, and it caused me a lot of stress and angst. Looking back, none of it matters. As long as you listen to your gut and work hard and enjoy the little things, it will always work out in the end.
I cannot get through the day without...
A good cup of English Breakfast Tea in my “What Would Beyonce Do” cup. It is necessary for me to function.
Three words your closest friends would use to describe you?
Extrovert, Foodie, Driven
Biggest career highlight / goal?
I am super proud to have progressed in my current role and to be the lead on certain NPI (New product introduction) projects. I get to use all my favourite skills, work with multiple teams, and learn more about the business side of the Pharma industry.
My goal for this year is…
Say yes to new opportunities, help others to achieve their career goals, and most importantly, learn to rest.
What does your perfect breakfast look like?
Perfectly poached eggs with thick toast and bacon, definitely a hot pot of freshly brewed tea, down at a café near the beach or in an open spaced area with my group of friends.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Personal: Be kind, everyone is going through something that you’ll never know about.
Career: No one else will care about your career as much as you do. Work hard, trust your gut and put the effort in.