Jennifer Ahern

Jennifer Ahern

SECRET SPOT ON CAMPUS: My secret spot on campus is the north side of the lake, looking back towards campus. This side of the lake is peaceful, shaded and home to the learning circle which honours our long-standing relationship with the Darug people, the traditional occupants of the lands on which Macquarie is built. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a smoking ceremony here which has made this area particularly special.

MANTRA: Be kind. This is so simple and seems obvious, but there is a lack of kindness in the world. A smile, compassion and simply asking people how they are can go a long way. One of my favourite quotes is by Maya Angelou; “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU: Strong women. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong, resilient and intelligent women who inspire me daily.

“BACKGROUND” OR “CATCH UP” OR “JENNIFER'S STORY”: I’m lucky enough to be born and bred in Sydney. Since uni I’ve worked in PR, marketing and now I’m back at Macquarie in Student Recruitment so I’ve covered three different career paths in seven years – still changing my mind and trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up! In between, I’ve visited Europe, America, Japan and the Philippines and I hope to continue exploring the world.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW: My role at Macquarie University is undergraduate student recruitment coordinator – basically I try to show current high school students how great Macquarie is as a university choice.

In the last few years I’ve grown to appreciate inner strength and peace a lot more. A friend of mine introduced me to meditation in the past year which I’m still rusty at, but feeling the results nonetheless. I’m about to embark on my first solo trip overseas which will hopefully strengthen my relationship with myself. Otherwise some of my favourite things to do are nature walks, drinking copious amounts of wine with friends and talking to complete strangers – you never know what you will learn from them! I recently offered to take a photo for a couple visiting Watsons Bay. This lead to me joining their walk and chatting with them for an hour. I answered their questions about Sydney life and they shared with me what living in Philadelphia is like – people love sharing their story.

HOW HAS EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY AT MQU IMPACTED WHAT YOU DO FOR THIS WORLD: One thing I loved about Macquarie when studying here was the amount of recycling bins offered around campus. Recycling is so simple yet so important, it baffles me why recycling bins are not placed next to garbage bins everywhere in Australia. The labelling of what to put in the Macquarie bins is a great educational point for those who are unsure about what can and can’t be recycled.

This notion of recycling absolutely everything possible has always stuck with me. I’ve noticed that everyone in my apartment block puts their recycling inside plastic bags, making it completely redundant. Recently I printed off a number of educational posters about how to recycle and put them around the bin room – a small task but one that will hopefully see over 500 units now recycle properly. 

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE DOING IN 5 YEARS TIME: Hopefully applying my skills within a charity organisation or working in any role which can better the world. I’d love to work in communications or marketing to spread the word about environmental sustainability or animal protection.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD GIVE STUDENTS GRADUATING FROM MQU: Every experience be it in your personal life or at work is valuable – learn from it. And never underestimate the power of connections, so put yourself out there and meet new people!


SPIRIT ANIMAL: Golden retriever. I was given this spirit animal by my friend and (self-proclaimed) professional spirit animal assigner. My friend explained they are friendly, loyal and have unconditional love and acceptance and if I can continue to live my life this way, I’ll be happy.

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