Isabella McCulloch is shooting for the stars with her career in space.
Having recently graduated from the University of Adelaide’s Bachelor of Science with majors in Space Science and Astrophysics, she has made her mark on the industry through a series of internships and extracurricular activities, as well as recently appearing in the Jobs For You campaign.
Soon, she’ll also be completing a five-month internship at the South Australian Space Industry Centre where she’ll be supporting the team working on Kanyini – South Australia’s first state satellite.
Read on to find out more about her exciting journey into space!
You’re currently working at the Australian Space Agency as well as interning at a few different companies. What interesting things have you had the opportunity to be a part of or people have you met through these experiences?
From working at the Australian Space Agency, I’ve said ‘yes’ to so many opportunities – articles, advertisements, volunteering opportunities and more! However, one of the most incredible benefits of being a Space Communicator is the opportunity to speak to hundreds of enthusiastic students and inspire everyone to think about space.
Alongside this role, I’m currently the Space Intern for Stone and Chalk which involves networking, data management and organising out-of-this-world events but… It’s almost too much fun to be an internship! I get to work and engage with so many motivated and incredible people that it’s hard to put together a list of everyone I look up to!
Tell us a bit about what you are studying/studied and what you’ve learnt.
Earlier this year, I graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Space Science and Astrophysics. Currently, I’m studying a Professional Science Honours in Science Innovation.
Despite being a part of so many amazing projects, I learnt very early in my degree the importance of volunteering and extracurriculars. Not only can they be a break from studies, but they encourage you to network, meet new people and immerse yourself directly in industry. You’re able to meet so many incredible people and it’s really motivating to know where your degree could take you and what’s really out there.
What do you love about a future in the space industry?
My favourite thing about the future, namely in space, is the fact that we don’t really know. We have ideas as to what it could look like but with each year, we see new technologies and the possibilities in what we can achieve just grow.
What is the most exciting project you’ve been involved in?
One of the most exciting projects I’ve been a part of was one I did recently. The Jobs For You campaign, an initiative by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. This was my first time doing an advertisement and although nervous, it was an overall amazing experience. Being able to use my experiences to encourage others to pursue a career in space, in South Australia, is something I want to do as a career.
What makes South Australia’s space industry so special?
Australia’s space sector in general is incredible but being able to start your space career in the home of the Australian Space Agency and many space start-ups, there’s so much choice and support. In a way, everyone can be ready for launch… They just need to take that first step onto their launchpad!
What advice would you give to women interested in a career in the industry?
Apply. Apply for the jobs that you know deep down you can do. What’s holding you back is the thought of not getting it because you don’t tick all the boxes. If not getting it is the worst that can happen, apply anyway for the practice and exposure.