This post by Professor Elaine Rush first appeared here on Thesislink in 2013
The human body is the most amazing creation and how and why it works as it does is of interest to most people. I started work, a long time ago, at Greenlane Hospital as a physiology technician. I had taken all sciences at school and decided I would work for a year before going to University. Fourteen years and two children later I left Greenlane and undertook part time teaching of anatomy, physiology and bioscience to nurses. Sharing useful knowledge about the body is very rewarding – and I was constantly learning. Things evolved: I taught at Unitec (Carrington) and I undertook a Masters looking at Exercise and Immunity (my other qualifications allowed me to skip the BSc) and then onto a PhD while working full time at AIT teaching biomedical technologists and anaesthetic technicians. The PhD lead me into understanding better about interactions of food with the body and so my career journey took off.
One of the advantages was that I knew a lot of people in different areas – I frequently meet nurses I have taught, and keeping an open mind and seeing opportunities. I now encourage students to write down contacts, to keep hard covered research journals to record all the insights that happen and take advantage of every opportunity to interact with others. You never know what might happen. One example was I sat next to a person on a plane from Wellington to Auckland and it resulted in funding for a PhD scholarship for a student of mine. When there is a vision of changing lives through understanding better and sharing knowledge and opportunities good things keep happening. Follow your heart.