For International Women’s Day 2019, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific is celebrating the achievements of the College’s outstanding alumnae. CAP student correspondent Georgie Juszczyk spoke to recent alumna Hannah Woodford-Smith, who is a Research Officer at Thales.
What did you study at ANU and when did you graduate?
I graduated in 2017 from a Bachelor of Criminology/Bachelor of International Security Studies.
What was the best thing about studying at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific?
For me, the best thing about studying at ANU was the educational experience. Nerdy I know, but we were surrounded by leading global academics that both practiced and studied the subject matter. This type of access to teaching and mentorship really enabled me to figure out what I loved about international security and pursue opportunities that supported these interests.
Also, it would be remiss of me not to mention that an internship program offered by ANU was the kick-start to my career as I was hired soon after I finished the three-month stint.
What is something you’d tell your younger self?
Travel as much as you can! And some corny idioms like “If you want something, just ask. The worst thing anyone can say in response is no” and “patience and persistence ultimately pay off.”
Who is a woman in your field that you look up to?
Finding a single woman in my field that I look up to is a tough one. I was very lucky to be surrounded by female practitioners because my mum was a detective in the Australian Federal Police. It is their tenacity in the pursuit of their work, their intelligence and commitment and their drive to do good that have encouraged and motivated me. However, this is a highly competitive, fast-paced industry and I think any individual that has found success in it and a way to contribute knowledge or experience, is a positive role model for me and for others.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
To me, International Women’s Day is a day of gratitude and celebration. It is the day to recognise the efforts of those that opened doors that were previously shut and be grateful they did. It is the day to acknowledge and thank the scores of men that support women. And finally, it is the day to consider how we can continue to grow.
See the full collection of profiles from 2018 and 2019 on our “Inspiring Women of CAP” page.
We also interviewed Hannah while she was studying for her degree. Read more about how her gap year influenced her change of direction, and degree.
Find out more about the undergraduate degree that Hannah studied - the Bachelor of International Security Studies at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.