Ashleigh May

Ashleigh May

Ashleigh May

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Honours
  • Year commenced: 2016
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • Major(s): Human pathology
  • Minor(s): Physiology

Why did you decide to study science?
I have always been interested in learning about how everything works, and the answers lie in science! I find that scientific studies have the most diverse array of applications and by studying it, I would be able to keep my career options open.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
I chose Monash for the great community I witnessed at Open Day. In particular, I was drawn to the Global Challenges degree, as it represented the opportunity to be equipped with the knowledge I sought and the skills to amount to positive change. I really wanted to jump on board to a course that is a pioneer in Australia: incorporating entrepreneurship, critical and design thinking, and business management into a STEM education.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science?
I have loved how every year in Global Challenges has been different. In our first year, we were given opportunities to enhance our leadership and scientific communication capacity. In second year, we were introduced to the concept of entrepreneurship and learned to apply our scientific backgrounds to a social enterprise/ cause.

In my third year of study, I was lucky to be amongst a team called in by the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) to consult on the issue, 'Closing the gap between Scientific Research and the Muscular Dystrophy (MD) Community'. Also in my third year as a science student studying my major (Human Pathology), I was lucky enough to be a part of a research team with Monash University's Department of Neuroscience on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in paediatric models. My contribution enabled me to be listed as a co-author on the Journal of Neurotrauma submission: "Validation of reference genes for gene expression analysis following experimental traumatic brain injury in a paediatric mouse model".

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
Following a long overdue holiday, I have been lucky enough to have been accepted into a role as a graduate strategy consultant.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
The highlight of the degree has definitely been honours. We were so lucky to have been partnered with an organisation allowing us to create real impact on current issues.

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
Back in 2016, science students were perceived as ‘unemployable’. Now, after attending career events, it is more evident than ever that employers value the skills gained through STEM degrees. We learn to think differently and it is hard to put a value on that diverse way of thinking in a team.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say?
Speak to a friendly course adviser in Science Student Services, current or pasts students and pick their brains. It is important to learn from other’s experiences and expertise. However, make sure that you are always going in the direction that you want to head down, not what others think you should do. Then, jump in!

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by
I was given this advice back in year 12 and it really got me through my 4 years of uni:
“Always do your best in the moment. It may not be the best you’ll ever do, but it is the best you can do at the time.”
It has always helped me through those tough times where I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. It also reminds me that my best work is yet to come.