Finding strength in future professionals – Paul HodgsonPosted: August 16, 2014
“I think Griffith courses are at the forefront of tertiary education, as they are consistently dynamic in their offerings.”
It’s no surprise to us that Griffith graduates are thought leaders and innovators in their respective fields – at Griffith Careers, we witness graduates fulfil their career aspirations and create real change in their industries on a daily basis.
This is because many University courses are structured to reflect the increasingly globalised economic and social structures of the world today. Coursework is created with real world applications in mind, giving students the relevant problem solving and critical thinking skills to succeed in the current job market.
It was this innovative approach to learning that led Paul Hodgson to study at Griffith. The multifaceted approach of the international business relations degree laid the foundation for building a highly successful career.
“The Bachelor of International Relations was a bit of everything and it looked really exciting. It looked global, it offered a bit of marketing, accounting, law, economics and Asian languages. It really appealed to me,” he says.
That was over twenty years ago. Since then, Paul has worked in various roles, holding on to the overarching philosophy that collaboration between governments, business, innovation and research will lead to better national and regional economic outcomes. Ultimately, this means the overall system will work more efficiently.
“I love getting to work with a bunch of likeminded people. It’s always rewarding to work with good people doing good things.”
Paul’s varied history includes working in economic policy and innovation for the Australian Government, directing business consulting and advisory services and being a Senior Innovation Adviser to the Federal Minister for Industry.
Paul is a significant leader in building Queensland’s economic future. He now manages the strategy group of Construction Skills Queensland, an industry training fund assisting in the development of a skilled workforce that meets the evolving needs of the building and construction industry. As the third largest employer in Queensland, and one of the four pillars of the state economy, construction requires a talented, skilled and motivated workforce to continue to grow.
“We invest about 40 million dollars a year in the training system on behalf of the construction industry. It’s a significant responsibility and we want to ensure a good return on investment for the industry. We pursue a range of thought leadership initiatives to explore how trends will affect the future workforce and skilling requirements of the industry,” he says. “This research helps us, governments and the industry make the best possible investments”.
“What I tend to find is, everyone has a strength and a gift and my role as a mentor is to help them to find it and use it.”
It’s clear that Paul has made a real impact in the field he’s passionate about, resulting in better economic outcomes for the whole of Queensland. He is now giving back to the University through his involvement with the Industry Mentoring Program, meaning students are privy to his insights and considerable experience in the field.
“I often hear this myth about university students being cocky and overconfident but I tend to find the exact opposite. They are quite tentative and they don’t value their life and work experiences and can be unsure of what they can provide an employer,” he says.
Because of this, Paul’s biggest goal as a mentor is to instil confidence in his mentees. He is an advocate of mentoring and acknowledges he was influenced early in his career by people he didn’t recognise as mentors at the time. He says as you get older, you tend to seek out more mentors on your own and value the people who have ‘been there, done that’.
This is great advice for our students. Paul’s best advice though?
“Take control of your destiny.”
Paul’s Top Tips:
- Be confident in your skills and what you can offer an employer.
- Seek out mentors who understand you and can help coach you in your career options.
- Seek out opportunities to continue learning.