“I had no idea when I started university that I would be in position that I am now” – Luke Shanahan, Griffith University Alumnus
When Luke Shanahan began his Bachelor of Exercise Science after high school, he was unsure where he wanted to take his career until a placement opportunity gave him the chance to work as a cardiac scientist.
“I had always enjoyed sport and aspects of science but it was through that work experience that I discovered my passion in life – the heart and how it works, and helping others in the community,” he says.
“I am currently the Director of Clinical Measurements for Cardiac Investigations at Gold Coast Health and Hospital Service. I achieved this position through years of hard work and extensive study, all underpinned by my desire to understand the heart.
“That desire drove me to study and learn as much as I could. I’m still learning and that’s part of my job I enjoy; the fact that it provides me with life-long learning opportunities.”
Luke’s achievements include his invitation to serve on the prestigious International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners, a position he was requested for due to his previous exam performance.
“People normally nominate themselves to serve on the Board. To my knowledge, I’m one of only a handful of Australian cardiac scientists who have been involved,” he says.
“That was a career peak for me, absolutely, but from here, I endeavor to teach others, which I thoroughly enjoy.
“I also want to do more work in cardiac research and gain involvement in providing a sustainable health system so that patients of all backgrounds have equal opportunity to access high-quality healthcare services when they need them.”
While reflecting on his career, Luke recognises it was hard work and support from family, friends and colleagues that got him to his position today, yet he still sometimes cannot believe the role he plays in helping his patients.
“If you had have told me I would be running a cardiac investigation department and supporting cardiologists with operations of the heart, that I’d be stopping and starting hearts to test pacemakers and defibrillators, and monitoring hearts when patients are having a heart attack… I would have laughed at you,” he jokes.
“I was only an average student during high school as I never really had a strong interest in any of the subjects. But through my university studies, when I discovered the heart and role that I could play, I discovered a passion and a purpose.
“I had no idea when I started university that I would be in position that I am now.”
After building this successful career in cardiac science, Luke returned to Griffith in 2014 to complete his Master of Business Administration and build skills in a new area.
“After many years of clinical study at a national and international level, I realised that an underlying factor of continued success in the medical field was business,” he says.
“I chose Griffith for my MBA because it has a strong focus on sustainability, and it allowed me the flexibility to select various courses that were relevant to healthcare.
“Additionally, it allowed me to study as part time student, so there was flexibility in attending courses both face to face and online.”
His advice for potential students is two-fold: outline clear objectives and invest in yourself.
“When you’re starting out, review the courses and choose one that aligns with your interests, including the employment opportunities and future study opportunities you may have,” he says.
“The Bachelor of Exercise Science is not an easy one, however it’s a great platform for you future if you apply yourself. The MBA is the same: it sounds cliched, but you only get out what you put in.
“I’d advise anyone interested in a high-level health career to add a business aspect to their studies, because the information you learn there can be incorporated into your everyday job.
“It’s easy to see post-graduate studies as an expense, but you’re investing in your future so it’s worthwhile – it only takes capitalising on one opportunity placed before through your study to absorb the costs.”
If like Luke you have a passion for helping people live their life to the fullest, or a desire to learn more about the heart or the human body and how it operates, find out more about the Bachelor of Exercise Science. Griffith University offers a variety of options for incorporating business studies into your career, from the Master of Business Administration to the double degree option for Bachelor of Exercise Science / Bachelor of Business.