Chrishane Amarasekara

Chrishane Amarasekara

Chrishane Amarasekara

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Year commenced: 2019
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • Major(s): Genetics
  • Minor(s): Astrophysics

Why did you decide to study science?
I’ve always had an interest in Science and a fascination of geniuses like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking ever since I was in Primary School. When I got to High School, I loved my Science classes which led me to enrolling in the specialist Science School John Monash when I was in Year 10. Upon graduation I knew I wanted to be an engineer since I’ve always had the desire to create something with my own two hands but also enjoyed the discovery aspect of Science and so enrolled in a double degree of engineering and science to get the best of both worlds.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
I practically grew up on campus swimming at Doug Ellis Swimming Pool since I was four years old, and my Father also earned his MBA at Monash when I was about 5. By the time I was in High School at Mazenod College we conducted a lot of our evening sports at the sports facilities at Clayton Campus. After enrolling in JMSS I became more familiar with the rest of the campus and frequently studied in the many different libraries at Clayton, particularly in preparation for my Year 12 VCE exams. Monash has always been my home, that’s why I wanted to study here.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science?
All the different opportunities it opens up. It’s a field of discovery and so as you learn the content, it can change as experts come to new conclusions from cutting edge research. If you don’t know exactly what you’re interested in, a Science degree is structured so that you can change your mind.

After graduating High School, I knew I had an interest in Biology even though I hadn’t done it for VCE and so chose to do that in my first semester at Uni. I had no idea what I wanted to specialise in, but luckily the way a Science degree is structured you don’t need to decide what you want to specialise in straight away. In fact, at first, I thought I wanted to Major in Biochemistry but after my first year in Biology and getting a taste of all the fields I knew Genetics was for me which enabled me to combine my interest in Biology with my natural ability in Maths. Learning science at Monash helps you to identify what you really love to learn, as I did with Genetics.

There are so many resources to help you with your studies and the teachers are all really helpful. For instance, I was worried I would be overwhelmed when beginning my first Biology unit, since I had not done it in High School but before the semester even began the unit coordinators provided a great induction course specifically for students like me who hadn’t done Biology in High School. Also, the way Science is structured, you can pick very different fields of Science like I am pursuing a Major in Genetics and a Minor in Astrophysics.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
Completing the Monash Food Innovation Internship in which I learnt I had a passion for design and got to meet so many new and amazing people. Also just making friends with so many different people from different countries and backgrounds.

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
I thought there was going to be an overwhelming amount of content that was very difficult to understand. When in reality all the units I have done so far have the content well-spaced out into manageable bits. And there are so many online resources and real people able and willing to help that learning becomes so much more enjoyable.

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
Use a Weekly Journal to note down any upcoming assessments or due dates as they come up, and also note down everything that you need to complete for the given week. I’ve been doing this since High School, and it has helped me keep on top of my work the majority of the time.