Danushi Peiris

Danushi Peiris

Danushi Peiris

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2014
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • Major(s): Chemistry
  • Minor(s): Geosciences

Why did you decide to study Science?
I've always wanted to not only better the world around me, but to also understand it better. I believe my science education is developing my problem solving skills in a way which will help me solve some of the challenges of the real world.

What made you choose Monash University in particular?
I chose Monash University for its global presence and reputation. I always knew I was interested in studying science at university, but the Global Challenges program is the only one of its kind in Australia.

What is your favourite aspect of studying science?
I love being able to apply what I learn at university in the real world. It is exciting to be able to look at the world around me and better understand how it all works.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I'd love to solve problems through entrepreneurship. If that fails science policy would also satisfy my need to solve real world problems using my science background.

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?
Make sure you do your research, some science subjects are available exclusively at Monash. If you have a particular interest this may not be available at another university. Monash also has a small number of science students compared to some other Victorian universities which means for example that Monash students get more hands-on experience in first-year Chemistry.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
I recently pitched my business to a panel of investors securing $2000 in seed funding. The Launch Pad event was a wonderful opportunity to encourage innovation at the university and helped push me outside my comfort zone.

Do you have a favourite class/teacher/subject? What is it about this class/teacher/subject that you love?
My favourite subject is 'Impact through Science'. This unit really sets the Global Challenges program apart from a traditional science degree. It challenges me to take science outside the lab and use my scientific knowledge in a broader context. In first year this involved focusing on science policy and leadership. This year we focused on entrepreneurship. This involved myself and two of my peers setting up our own business and pitching it to a panel, which resulted in our group being awarded seed funding to bring our business to life.

What was the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
At high school, I associated sciences with the study of Biology, Physics and Chemistry. I'm glad I took the opportunity to study subjects that weren't available to me at high school including Geosciences which ended up being my minor.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities?
I am a Science Student Ambassador- this involves me talking to students about my experiences studying science at Monash. I also hold an ambassador role in the Access Monash program which involves mentoring VCE students and advising them on pathways to tertiary education. I am also a part of the Dean's Student Advisory Committee which aims to act as a voice for science students, improving the faculty at a grassroots level. A highlight of this year was attending the National Youth Conference as part of the Science and Technology working group encouraging innovation in Australia. Next year, I am looking forward to being involved in the science peer mentoring program which assists first year students through their first few weeks of university. In my spare time, I have also volunteered at AMES and Oxfam.

Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience?
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the Science Faculty. Participating in extra-curricular activities is a great way to build skills and make friends.