Cindy Mao

Cindy Mao

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Year commenced: 2021
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science

Why did you decide to study science?
There were many reasons why I decided to study science, the main ones including my love for science subjects in high school. I have always been interested in biology and chemistry, and therefore, I wanted to deepen my knowledge about these concepts. Secondly, I have always had a strong curiosity about the world around me. I've always been driven to uncover the "why" and "how" of how things work, and science provides a perfect portal for exploring this. There are also many career opportunities available by completing a science degree. This course allows me to combine my strengths, passion for discovery, and future career goals into one dynamic field of study.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
Monash University was one of the few universities that offered such appealing double degree programs, which allowed me to pursue both my passions in Science and Commerce simultaneously and fast-track my completion in 4 years.

The prospect of learning and studying in Monash’s state-of-the-art learning facilities, such as the new Learning and Teaching Building and beautifully designed study lounges, excited me. Moreover, attending workshops in well-equipped labs with advanced technology that have created life-changing treatments and solutions for society was another great benefit of coming to this university.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science?
My favourite aspect of studying science is the continuous support and communication from my tutors, teaching assistants, and lecturers, which have greatly assisted in my learning experience. The sense of community and guidance they provide foster an environment where I feel comfortable seeking help and collaborating with peers.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
Immunology classes have introduced such fascinating concepts to me, from the many defense mechanisms that the innate and adaptive immune system employs to the treatment of cancer using monoclonal antibodies. Not only has it allowed me to understand more about my own body in times of sickness, but has also allowed me to truly appreciate the significance of medical breakthroughs in vaccines and antibiotics.

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
I think many people believe that working in scientific fields is quite isolating and devoid of much human interaction. However, through my journey at Monash, I have discovered that communication is a vital aspect of being a successful scientist. Effective communication and interpersonal skills are essential for presenting findings, explaining complex concepts to different audiences, and collaborating with peers.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say?
If you're considering studying at Monash Science, my advice is to fully engage and attend your in-person classes as much as possible. You've made a decision to invest a lot of time, money and energy into developing your knowledge and skills, therefore, seize every opportunity to learn. Ask questions and seek clarification from your tutors and apply your knowledge whenever possible!

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
Recognize the power of mindset. Your perspective shapes your university experiences and outcomes. Therefore, I implore you to have a positive growth mindset, which means you should embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. You can think of these obstacles as stepping stones towards success.

Do you have a chosen career in mind? If so, what kind of job are you currently aspiring to?
Not sure yet!