Meet our 2016 Science Ambassadors
Our Science Ambassadors are current students in the Faculty of Science from across many different disciplines; they volunteer their time to help with a range of future student, alumni and current student activities.
Amanda Hwei Ee Loh
"UniMelb provides a safe platform and sufficient support for students to discover their inner passion and strengths. It isn't all about results in UoM, it's also about the life we live in Melbourne." -Amanda
I aim to pursue Music Neuropsychology within the Neuroscience field. It’s an extremely specialized area and there aren’t many people that had delved into it just yet, but it’s my dream to integrate music, neuroscience and psychology. The lecturers I've gotten thus far in UoM has been one of the best lecturers I had ever been taught by. I still can't believe that some of my favourite textbook authors are teaching me live, and this is probably the best experience ever.
Hailing from a Commerce background before university, it is due to sheer determination as well as mentoring that got me to where I am today. It started with attending a Bio-Psychology talk back in Malaysia, whereby I first met my mentor, who coincidentally was the Head of Department of the program I was in. Her speech was awe-inspiring and talking to her more about it after the speech made me more intrigued in the area of Biology with Psychology. Since then I have been hooked on Neuroscience.
What made me ultimately choose UniMelb was the student-life that the university would be able to provide me with. UniMelb provides a safe platform and sufficient support for students to discover their inner passion and strengths. It isn't all about results in UoM, it's also about the life we live in Melbourne. UniMelb provides a safe platform and sufficient support for students to discover their inner passion and strengths. It isn't all about results in UoM, it's also about the life we live in Melbourne.
I’ve only been in UniMelb for two years, and in this short amount of time I’ve met true friends, developed good skills and am determined to get a good career. Being put into a situation where I’m living away from my parents, I have had to be independent. This can be tiresome, but at the end of the day I usually get a feeling of accomplishment.
"Discovering creative, innovative climate change adaptation & mitigation methods inspired me to start a Geography major." -Benjamin
I began my Bachelor of Science wanting to pursue health sciences by seeing what the positive impact that health care had on my family & friends, and started completing pre-requisites for graduate entry. After my first yearI took a Gap Year undertook a placement as an Outdoor Education Instructor in Anglesea, Victoria. I worked with students and community groups - teaching them the basics in rock climbing, canoeing, cycling and surfing etc. I had a fantastic time and discovered my love for working outdoors, researching interactions between people and the environment and encouraging them (especially students) to engage and learn about the nature around them.
The internship also led me to get involved in learning about community development and making a difference in the levies of those around me: I realised that people did care about the environment, i.e. climate change, but often did not have the tools, knowledge or support to make meaningful changes in their lives. Discovering creative, innovative climate change adaptation & mitigation methods inspired me to start a Geography major when I returned to study.
My course has meant travelling internationally to learn about climate change resilience in some inspiring communities and environments; studying glaciers in New Zealand, learning about landscape management with rural farming communities in China and working with aid organisations in East Timor in climate change resilience to name a few! It has allowed me to make many new friends across the world and network with inspiring and friendly academics. Plus, getting involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities! From volunteering in the Community Garden and Student Welfare, to teaching at Collingwood Children’s Farm & working for the Students At Work program.
My dream career would be to work with environmental education in the Asia Pacific Region; empowering local community leaders through the Asia Pacific region to respond creatively and innovatively to climate change through social enterprise. I have learnt that knowledge and talent are incredibly valuable, but interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate ideas clearly and critically is just as important!
Benjamin received the Melbourne Global Mobility Award and a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant, which have helped him travel to New Zealand and China respectively. He has also been working toward the Leaders in Community Award (LiCA). Find out more about LiCA here.
Brad Den Heijer
"From medicine to business or research to law, all of these options remain open to you while studying a Bachelor of Science." -Brad
I moved to Melbourne after completing high school in New Zealand and for that reason the University has been a great platform to meet a lot of new people, develop some life-long friendships and really experience all that Melbourne and Australia has to offer. The fact that the University is right in the heart of Melbourne’s biomedical research precinct which opens up a lot of opportunities for further study and work, influenced my decision to come here.
There is nowhere a degree in Science can’t take you. From medicine to business or research to law, all of these options remain open to you while studying a Bachelor of Science and the Melbourne Model really allows you to figure out what you are most interested in during your degree.
I have thoroughly enjoyed studying genetics and biotechnology because they are areas of immense growth and expansion. Not only do they involve very interesting theory and principles, but these fields also have the capacity to create positive change in the world around me – right down to the individual level in human and medical genetics, and large industrial improvements in areas such as biopharmaceuticals and agricultural biotechnology.
The hardest part of university life is choosing exactly what it is you want to get involved in – there is so much to offer from clubs and societies, to sport and theatre. Getting involved in these activities can be a great way to enrich your university experience. However, with so many options it can be a fine balance because you still want to leave enough time for your studies!
Eileen Phoenix Aquino Lam
"I am specifically interested in viruses; how they can affect our immune system and how they have co-evolved with us." -Eileen
Studying here at the University of Melbourne is not just studying for me. It has meant new friends I have met from lectures, clubs and events. I am very blessed to have met all these amazing wonderful people some of whom have become my close friends.
I have always loved science since a young girl. Watching all those Animal Planet and Discovery Channel documentaries has fuelled my love for science. Having great science teachers from a very young age and seeing women in science has inspired me to pursue a career in science. Also just the wonderful world created around us has gotten me fascinated and amazed by the wonderful work and art that is life and science.
My dream career would be a biomedical researcher, particularly in the areas of microbiology/immunology, working in the lab with other cool scientists from all different science backgrounds. I am specifically interested in viruses and how they can affect our immune system and how they have co-evolved with us. There is also so much we don’t know about microbiology and immunology that I can’t help but wonder what is out there for us to discover.
While at high school, I was still sheltered under my teachers. Coming to university, I just didn’t expect the amount of freedom but also self-responsibility that came with it. Suddenly there was no one at university to hold my hand. But I also realised that the helping hands so many students seek of are actually just there; not holding onto us but beside us so that whenever we need help, we can always reach out and hold on to a hand.
Eileen has achieved the Leaders in Communities Award (LiCA). Find out more about LiCA here.
"I've really enjoyed the variety and scope that I’ve experienced with my subjects, as well as practical components such as field trips and camps to locations outside of Melbourne." -Harriet
I’ve always loved animals and the environment, and I hope to contribute to the conservation of organisms and ecosystems by learning about ecology and conservation and gaining practical research skills. I was attracted by the broad range of subjects offered throughout the Faculty of Science, as well as the ability to choose a more specific focus and pathway later in the degree.
I really appreciate the flexibility of study within my course at the University of Melbourne, and the university’s great reputation both locally and internationally helps to be more confident about the quality of education and post-graduation employment prospects. I’ve also really enjoyed the friendly and welcoming atmosphere and the wide variety of extra-curricular activities offered, such as student-run clubs which cater for a huge range of interests!
I've really enjoyed the variety and scope that I’ve experienced with my subjects, as well as practical components such as field trips and camps to locations outside of Melbourne. I’ve also been able to follow my passion and carry out a number of research-focussed subjects in my third year, meaning that I’ve been able to enjoy my time studying while still gaining useful skills for after graduation.
Kok Loong Chu
"I was inspired to pursue Veterinary Medicine by my passion for animals and the innate desire to want to see all animals in their best health." -Kok Loong
I chose the University of Melbourne because of its proximity to Singapore (compared to America or UK), the study pathway via the Melbourne Model, the prestige of the school, people who had studied here telling me it was great, and finally because Melbourne is a really awesome place with so much to offer! So far I have met amazing friends from all walks of life, from all over the world.
The university has opened a door to many exciting opportunities ahead and allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian. I was inspired to pursue Veterinary Medicine by my passion for animals and the innate desire to want to see all animals in their best health. I hope to be able to treat all kinds of animals and also wish to be the owner of a world-class veterinary clinic.
"My dream career is to work in a multinational pharmaceutical company as a business development manager, where I travel the world and interact with new people." -Michelle
My introduction to Biotechnology was when I was taught genetic engineering at school. I took biotechnology as a core subject during high school and never looked back since. I went on to do my Bachelors and now Masters in the same field, broadening my knowledge and experience.
Attending numerous workshops, seminars and networking events have benefited my professional development as a graduate student. I get the opportunity to meet passionate individuals from the industry, exchange ideas and obtain career advice.
The University of Melbourne is where I invest in myself, embrace the challenges and pursue my passion ruthlessly to achieve my goals. There are lot of career options after my Biotechnology degree, which I did not realise before. My dream career is to work in a multinational pharmaceutical company as a business development manager, where I travel the world and interact with new people.
"Listen to advice, but in the end, make the choice that you are happiest with, strive towards your goal, and you will do extremely well." -Nathan
I initially chose the Bachelor of Biomedicine, and completed my first year in that course. However, I did not find that course to be personally fulfilling, as it left many of my interests such as physics and engineering, unanswered, and so I transferred to the Bachelor of Science at the beginning of my second year. I can honestly say that this was one of the best decisions that I have made, as Science has been extremely rewarding, interesting, exciting and inspiring. The subjects are incredibly challenging yet rewarding at the same time, and really explore the potential of each student. Additionally the University of Melbourne fosters a wonderful environment to make and deepen friendships, which is definitely an important highlight for me.
I don’t actually have a particularly dream career that I want to strive towards. Going forwards into the future, there will be so many new jobs created that don’t exist now, in conjunction with all the careers that do exist now that I don’t yet know about. I am keen to explore and broaden my horizons, and find a career that is rewarding and fulfilling.
University has taught me how big the world really is. It is so easy to get caught up in school life and the school routine, and to sometimes forget that so much is happening in the world that we are unaware of. There is so much knowledge out there, so many intelligent people, and so many ways to help you grow in character. It is okay to feel a little overwhelmed at everything, but there are many services at the university, career counsellors, the internet, and people who are there to help you. Listen to advice, but in the end, make the choice that you are happiest with, strive towards your goal, and you will do extremely well.
"The Melbourne Model is structured so that you can try a variety of subjects. This way, you have the opportunity to try a whole range of subjects and see what suits you the best." -Nayana
After attending the Open Day, I knew I wanted to study at the Univerisity of Melbourne. I loved the idea of being able to call this beautiful campus home, and knowing that I would be able to get a world class education during my time here made my decision very easy. I also did not want to go into a very specific degree straight out of high school, so the Melbourne Model suited me well.
Coming into my degree, I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice doing a Bachelor of Science. That said, during my first year I took a wide range of classes to try out different aspects of science and found myself in a stream that I am now in, and love! My time here is making me a better, well-rounded person and will hopefully help me achieve my future goals.
I went on exchange to America and studied at the University of Virginia for a semester. This was an incredible experience as for five months, my life consisted of meeting people from all around the world, experiencing life as an American student and travelling. I could not recommend going on exchange enough. It really opened my eyes up to possibilities for the future and, in the process, I made lifelong friends dotted around the globe.
Don’t worry too much about whether you’ve made the right choice in terms of what you are studying. The Melbourne Model is structured so that you can try a variety of subjects. This way, you have the opportunity to try a whole range of subjects and see what suits you the best.
"I would like to be able to benefit disadvantaged nations whose people lack the technological benefits I’m fortunate enough as a citizen of a first world state to consider mundane." -Phil
Science is endlessly fascinating. So much that is mysterious has been demystified by science throughout history, and yet for evermore there will exist phenomena awaiting explanation. I love ideas and this area of study fuels an already keen interest in understanding the world surrounding me.
Melbourne’s high entry standards results in every student you meet having some positive combination of smarts and work ethic, with engaging opinions and ideas of their own. This creates a dynamic atmosphere within which to both become educated and grow as a person.
I would like to be able to benefit disadvantaged nations whose people lack the technological benefits I’m fortunate enough as a citizen of a first world state to consider mundane – such as potable water. Humanity needs to push forward, to look beyond perceived limitations and find solutions to global challenges, and I want to be a part of it. I see the study of engineering as equipping me with the tools to make the most of my talents to this end.
"Never be afraid to try new things. The opportunities provided here to develop yourself are endless." -Ruchir
Studying at University of Melbourne has meant a lot to me. Throughout the course, the modules along with my interactions with faculty, industrialists and peers in my field have been valuable to my career path. Melbourne has a good start-up scene and a booming Biotech (healthcare, food) industry.
Current research developments in the biotechnology field and the variety and breadth of applications of this field in everyday life fuelled my interest to join this study area. I didn’t expect to learn how deeply interconnected biotechnology and business are. My dream career is to own a start-up company specialising in wine-making in South Australia.
Never be afraid to try new things. The opportunities provided here to develop yourself are endless… smart work and humour are keys to success!
"Breadth has enabled me to appreciate the non-scientific parts of society, such as the history and the development of the Japanese language." -Selena
The high-tech laboratory facilities and the dedication to science of our enthusiastic academics during open day talks, really appealed to me about this university. In addition, there are numerous research facilities partnering with the University of Melbourne, and I think being a Melbourne University student gives you more opportunities to network with project managers and senior demonstrators.
I knew I liked science but I wasn’t sure which specific field I wanted to study or work in. The best advice I can give would be to get involved with university events such as career talks, discovery tours or club and societies, to get more understanding of what kind of person you are and what you are really dedicated in doing. This will definitely help you with your course planning.
Studying Japanese as breadth has been more than merely introducing vocabulary and grammar; it is a combination of exploring new ways of learning to maximise our understanding of the Japanese culture as well as improving team work skills. It has enabled me to appreciate the non-scientific parts of society such as the history and the development of the Japanese language.
"Go up and talk to people, ask questions, join clubs, do subjects that aren't with your friends - don't be afraid to jump a little bit out of your comfort zone." -Serina
I've always been interested in science as it explains so much of what happens around us. Particularly, I am so fascinated by the human mind and body and its ability to function in everyday life without us needing any conscious control over it. In terms of career I'd love to be able to work on the human brain as I'm constantly fascinated by that, but in terms of whether that means in research or further into the realms of medicine - I just don't know yet.
Through studying at Melbourne I've been able to push my boundaries in terms of what I've been able to learn and experience. I have loved the broad variety of subjects I’ve taken and the resources particular topics use to reinforce learning. Currently, I’m doing 3rd year anatomy subjects which use real human cadaveric tissue and it is so surreal that the layers you see in text books are actually there physically!
I think the biggest thing about university is you have to really embrace the experience. Go up and talk to people, ask questions, join clubs, do subjects that aren't with your friends - don't be afraid to jump a little bit out of your comfort zone.