Suzy Baxter's Chemistry and Biochemistry qualifiaction has taken her from the bench to the boardroom...

“WHATEVER you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

UQ Science graduate, Suzy Baxter, lives by this Goethe quote, and, not surprisingly, her ensuing career path has been showered with success.

From her beginnings in Science, Ms Baxter has seen her career blossom over the last ten years of holding various corporate positions in Europe, the Middle East and Sydney.

Starting her working life as an analytical chemist after achieving a Science Honours degree in 1998 (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ms Baxter’s rise in her career was both smooth and swift.

In 2002, not long after completing her Honours degree, she was nominated to join a Prime Miníster's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) working group.

“This was a great honour for me, and a wonderful learning experience when so young,” she said.

After a period setting up the Science and Technology division at Davidson Group – a Brisbane-based head-hunting outfit – Ms Baxter joined the R&D tax team in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia.

She then spent time in Europe as PwC’s Advisory Business Development Director, based
in Luxembourg, servicing PwC clients and communities across 20 countries in Europe.

The next move for Ms Baxter was with PwC to Dubai – as Business Development Director for the Middle East region (14 countries) and as a member of the global PwC Experience team.

From there, she implemented the firm’s client experience and people engagement strategies across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and India.

She then went on to spend three years at ANZ Bank in Sydney as the Asia Pacific Desk of its Corporate and Commercial Bank Division for New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Recently, Allen & Overy lured Ms Baxter back to Dubai, as Head of Business Development and Marketing for their Middle East firm.

In September 2016, Ms Baxter returned to Brisbane to be closer to her family and to support fundraising efforts for The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) medical research scientists investigating neuromuscular disorders – something that affects her own family.

“Returning home to Brisbane is an important step for me - to be close to family is paramount, as is supporting Dr Robert Henderson’s UQ and RBWH medical research teams through fundraising via the MNDandMe Foundation to help my Mum and others with neuromuscular conditions,” she said.

“At the same time, I also hope to contribute my international experiences to the growth of a high performance Australian company.”

Ms Baxter, who also holds a Masters of Technology Management from UQ Business School, attributes her career achievements to both her UQ degrees, which she said equipped her with essential abilities – from the likes of analytical skills from Science to “big picture” business skills from a Masters degree.

“Although I may not operate in a traditional scientific environment, I believe that my ability to leverage all that science and technology offers to the commercial world has enabled me to deliver practical innovations, opportunities and performance improvements to my employers and their clients globally, regardless of industry,” she said.

Ms Baxter said her time at UQ was also linked to the development of her “curious mind, personal drive, determination and persistence” – all of which have been the backbone to her successes to date.

“I met lecturers, fellow students and mentors who encouraged me to reach beyond the borders of Brisbane and Australia to achieve my dreams and career goals,” she said.

“UQ was always number one on my preferences for tertiary study due to its prestigious reputation as one of the Asia Pacific region's most advanced universities with first-class facilities and faculties.”

Persons in Ms Baxter’s position have a salary range of $200K to $300 per annum, with an average of $250K.