The next step in University of Queensland graduand Reigne Dadey’s burgeoning career came because of a last minute exchange on twitter with a Professor in the US.
The Bachelor of Economics student and BEL Valedictorian is about to take a position as a Predoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, but said it was an eleventh-hour decision.
“I literally tweeted the person and asked if the position was still open, because I was undecided about applying for it.
“She just tweeted right back and that’s how it started,” Reigne said.
“It does look good on a CV but I’m also telling myself it’s not so much about the institution, it’s the research.
“They’re doing what I am really interested in – healthcare, social and family policy.
“Applying for the position and reading about their research excited me.”
Reigne’s degree took longer than anticipated after she acquired a spinal injury midway through her second year of study.
She said coming back to UQ as a wheelchair user was difficult, but put things in perspective.
“Coming back to the university made me realise that the goal posts had changed and the way I approached my education had changed.
“Working out what really worked for me was quite hard.
“Just having to pace myself back into it was the most frustrating thing because I went from being full-time to having to take time off, then to one subject a semester, and then two subjects and then three.
“In hindsight I am very grateful and I think one big thing I’ve learned is being empathetic and understanding the hardships that other people face.”
After her return to study, Reigne found the time to work at 180 Degrees Consulting, a pro bono student-led consulting organisation at UQ.
She also completed an exchange semester at UC Berkeley, and volunteered at, the Sporting Wheelies.
“I had a lot of freedom over the work I could do and it showed me that I can really contribute to an organisation and a team; and I can add value,” she said.
“At the time that was really formative.“
After Stanford, Reigne is considering a PhD, although she’s yet to decide where.
She said all the hard work and sacrifice had been worth it.
“I’m really happy and I’m grateful and it wasn’t what I expected to achieve when I started my education, but things change.
“I’m a lucky girl.”
It’s all a matter of perspective.