Michael Kitching

Michael Kitching

Michael Kitching

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Year commenced: 2015
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science and Engineering (Honours)

Why did you decide to study Science?

I have always enjoyed analysing and explaining nature, and have been interested in using these interpretations to make a difference in society.  Whether this difference comes about through government or non-government decisions based on these interpretations, education, discovery through research, or other means, is what interests me and influenced my decision to study science.

What made you choose Monash University in particular?

I chose to study at Monash University as it provided many opportunities such as the use of the Jock Marshall Reserve and the new Green Chemical Futures building that I could use in certain studies I wanted to pursue, in addition to other facilities, career opportunities, and vibrant community.

What is your favourite aspect of studying science?

I love the laboratory and practical work. It is nice to learn the theory and concepts, but nothing is more satisfying then analysing and interpreting data and results for different applications (such as determining whether a certain chemical or passive treatment of wastewater is more efficient).  

What do you plan to do when you graduate?

There are numerous opportunities that I could pursue, and at this point, I’m not entirely sure on where I’m headed. However, I do have an interest in working in consultancy or government departments on the environment and similar fields.

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?

Numerous factors such as Monash’s facilities, academic reputation, career opportunities are excellent, but the young and vibrant community at Monash is fantastic and very welcoming. Additionally, Monash has a helpful website and handbook, which has information regarding courses, majors, and units. They also provide campus tours which would provide further insight into some of the facilities Monash offers.

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

The highlight of my science degree so far has been the use the Jock Marshall Reserve to survey wetlands and aquatic birds. Even bird watching in the rain and later using remote camera monitoring in sunny and calm weather did not dampen my spirits or adversely affect my experience.

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

Environmental Sampling and Monitoring (ENV2022) was the best and most different unit I have done. The unit involved designing and undertaking sampling and monitoring programs at the Jock Marshall Reserve, and subsequently interpreting the data gathered. The practical-based learning, the career opportunities, and the friendly staff were fantastic.

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

I initially thought that as a science degree would not provide you with a set job-based vocation, it would pose many difficulties as a graduate in the job market. Whilst there is not a set job-based vocation for science graduates, the ability to take a multidisciplinary approach and to have readily transferable skills in the job market is important, and studying a science degree provides ample opportunities to develop these skills.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities?

I have been involved in the Science Peer Mentoring Program for two years, first as a mentor and then as a supervisory mentor. From these two roles, I have had the privilege to improve my event management, receive mental health and cultural awareness training, and met a bunch of awesome people.

Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience?

Getting involved in other extra-curricular activities has many benefits such as skills development and the transdisciplinary application of these skills. Whether it’s improving your communication skills as an Ask Me Ambassador or demonstrating how STEM can make a difference with Engineers Without Borders’ Monash School Outreach Program, you’re in for a great experience.  

Why did you become a Monash Science Ambassador?

Throughout my life at university, I have had the privilege to enjoy the support and services provided by the Monash community, and I would love to give back to this community and help others have a similar experience.

A piece of advice I live by/Lifehack:

Every hour of sleep before 12 am counts as two.

I’m currently listening to/watching….:

St. Kilda beat Collingwood in round 4.