- Student type: Domestic
- Degree type: Degree
- Year commenced: 2015
- Degree(s): Bachelor of Science
- Major(s): Zoology
Why did you decide to study Science?
Science, particularly Biology, has appealed to me since I was small. I have always loved watching nature documentaries, even though I may not have understood most of it then. When I first knew the word 'Zoology' and the fact that someone out there can get a job by studying animals, it was just one of those things you can just picture yourself doing every day of your life. Science had always been a subject I was pretty confident in during my years of study and which just made the choice of studying science that much easier.
What made you choose Monash University in particular?
I was planning on enrolling in university in Melbourne, because my sister was there. A friend of our family suggested Monash University as she mentioned that a lot of research was currently being done there and that would be great as I was interested in doing research. It also helped that Monash University gave me a conditional offer early during my last year in high school and that I would not need to undertake any foundation degree for it.
What is your favourite aspect of studying science?
My favourite aspect of studying science is the fact that there is just no end to it. Everything I had learned so far is as intriguing as when I first heard of science. Studying science is like triggering a domino effect. First, you learn something new. Then you ask questions about it. After getting the answers to your first question, it just leads you to even more questions. The never ending cycle of science and curiosity just never fails to excite me.
What do you plan to do when you graduate?
After graduating, I would really like to apply my knowledge of science and share the passion I have for it with the public, especially those in my home country of Indonesia. I want to promote the opportunities around studying science. Other than that, doing research, field-work, or working for animal welfare causes is definitely something I am looking forward to.
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?
Monash really brings out what you are capable of and builds on it continuously. It pressures you in just the right amount, challenging enough that you will not get bored but not burdening. Studies start off with the basics so you definitely do not have to worry about catching up, and it slowly builds up. It allows you to get comfortable and create your own pace when doing things. The Science Faculty of Monash also provides a range of majors and subjects, so not only will you meet a lot of people with different science interests but you can also keep your choices open for your majors in second year. There is also no better place than the Clayton campus, especially if you love nature.
What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
The highlight of my science degree would be the practicals I had done during my whole first year. Most of what I used to do in high school was common and similar experiments and we were not able to do the sophisticated things illustrated in the textbook theories. However, now I had actually done electrophoresis (being able to see the DNA bands is much better than just looking at the pictures), gram-staining (which is really less complicated than how it was written), identifying aquatic invertebrates, and all those other things that used to only be words and theories.
Do you have a favourite class/teacher/subject? What is it about this class/teacher/subject that you love?
Out of the eight units I took for first year, BIO1042 – Environmental Biology is my personal favourite. The practicals gave a more hands-on experience that focused on real field-work rather than the lab-based practicals of BIO1022. Not to mention that practicals were done in the Jock Marshall Reserve, one of the most wonderful places in campus (and the fact that getting an access card to a restricted area is pretty cool). The unit is also more laid-back and follows a relatively easy pace, definitely a unit I recommend for future Biology students.
What was the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
I would say that my biggest misconception on studying science would be that I always thought that the gap between experts and students of science is humongous. It was always in the back of my mind that researchers are extremely smart people who we can't really meet and that research papers are something that can only be understood only if we had learned science for a long time. However, after studying here in Monash and seeing how most of your lecturers, TAs, and tutors are doing research themselves, and the fact that I was frequently exposed to referencing primary literatures for assignments, it just showed how 'human' researchers actually are and how realistic the path of being one is.
Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities?
I have started volunteering outside of campus. Volunteering is definitely something I would recommend to anyone because you would be able to gain work experience without 'working'. It also broadens your knowledge on what your industry is like for future references, or at the very least the atmosphere of working. Other than that, volunteering also lets you meet a lot of new people outside of your usual network. Volunteering also relieves you from studying 24/7 and is a good productive way of having fun.
Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience?
Studying science is definitely hard work both physically and mentally, but it is not hard. I would say that the most important trait that would guarantee a success as a Monash Science student would be to be passionate about whatever it is you are learning about.