Ellen Knox

Ellen Knox

Ellen Knox

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2015
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science
  • Major(s): Genetics; Psychology

Why did you decide to study Science? 

During high school, I was never completely sure what I wanted to study. I was very interested in Biology and Psychology however, and would become hooked on TV stories, books and articles related to these fields. My interest was further cemented when going to various Uni open days and seeing all the interactive displays and facilities that I could be studying in. I figured out that Science really excited me, and it’s much easier to be motivated to study something you enjoy, so why not give it a go!

What made you choose Monash University in particular?

I had heard about Monash’s excellent reputation for Science, and there are so many different majors to choose from. After visiting a lot of University open days during year 12, the atmosphere at Monash was most appealing to me. The campus was a hive of activity and there were no shortage of people to talk to and help you out.

What is your favourite aspect of studying science?

I love being able to work on real world subjects and then see programs on TV and understand the techniques. It is great to be able to share what I’ve learnt and help educate others.  

What do you plan to do when you graduate? 

This is the stressful part, but Science teaches you a lot of transferable skills that would be valuable in any company. I am hoping to finish my Bachelor degree and complete either a Masters of Genetic counselling, or Psychology honours. I am still undecided and may take a year off to work and get experience, prior to completing postgraduate study.

If you were talking to a VCE student who wanted to study science but wasn’t sure which uni to pick, what would you tell them about Monash?

Definitely consider Monash as one of your preferences. The course is great, with so many subjects options to fit your interests. You also have the opportunity to combine your Science Bachelor with another degree, getting two bachelor degrees in only 4 years. The Science facilities are also fantastic, especially the 24/7 Science lounge and the recently built chemistry building. A refurbished Genetics and Psychology building are currently underway! Study aside, the social life on campus is always buzzing and there are so many places to eat and hang out with friends!

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?  

There have been so many but one of my favourite would have to be one of my practical classes we did in a molecular biology unit. We were examining the developmental stages of a chicken embryo, and got to extract 2 and 3-day embryos straight form the egg. For me, seeing the differences that just one day makes, was extremely fascinating. I would also say that living on campus has also been a massive highlight! Getting to live in a building of 250 people your age is so much fun.

Do you have a favourite class/teacher/subject? What is it about this class/teacher/subject that you love? 

Currently, my favourite class is medical genetics (GEN3051).  I think that the subject is my favourite so far because it is just content that I am really interested in. It helps you understand the mechanisms behind human disease, and how Last week, we had a guest lecturer who was a Genetic counsellor. Considering that is what I really want to do, I found it really insightful. It made getting to class by 8am worth it! I’m also looking forward to the lab later on in the semester, where we get to use real testing techniques to test for Cystic fibrosis.

What was the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?

I was under the impression that unlike high school, there wouldn’t be much individual help available. I soon found this to be wrong however! There are special group study classes you can sign up for in first year science units, such as BIO1011. There are also library drop in sessions if you need assignment help and classes designed especially to teach specific skills, such as writing a lab report or how to reference.  Not to mention the lecturers and lab demos are very approachable and are more than happy to answer questions in person, by email or via the unit forums.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities? Last year I was an Orientation Team member at Campbell Hall, one of the Halls of Residences at the Clayton campus. I was in charge of greeting new residents and helping them settle into the brand-new hall. I also got to help run a variety of activities during the orientation period. This experience was extremely rewarding and I made a lot of great friends. It also made me appreciate the work and effort that goes into running a hall of residence.

Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience? The course itself can be full on at times, but remember everyone is in the same boat.  Find some friends to study with and bounce ideas off, take regular breaks and have something to look forward to. It’ll make the experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

Why did you become a Monash Science Ambassador? I have had such a great experience with my course, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without all those who have helped me along the way. I became I Monash Science Ambassador so I can give back to the Monash community and help others have an experience as positive as mine!

A piece of advice I live by/Life hack: Say yes to all the opportunities Monash gives you!

I’m currently listening to/watching: Ed Sheeran’s new album