Jesse Givens-Lamb

Jesse Givens-Lamb

Jesse Givens-Lamb

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2013
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • Major(s): Chemistry; Chemical Engineering
  • Minor(s): Mathematics

Why did you decide to study Science?
I like understanding how things work. I also like to put my theories and ideas I have to the test and this is exactly what science is all about. I've been able to experiment based on my thoughts and ideas and it is a very rewarding experience.

What made you choose Monash University in particular?
Both chemistry and chemical engineering at Monash are ranked very highly, and is especially well regarded internationally. Additionally, I saw that Monash focused on hands-on work, with laboratory components of the course being viewed as very important. I really wanted to make sure that I received hands on experience and Monash Chemistry has a really strong practical component.

What is your favourite aspect of studying science?
The passion of the people involved is easily my favourite aspect of studying science. Watching one of my lecturers (a grown man) giggle about fluorescence was very entertaining and more importantly, his love of the subject matter meant his teaching was engaging and insightful. This same love is reflected by all staff and students and engaging with them about their particular interest, regardless of my knowledge of that field is easily my favourite aspect of studying science.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I want to work in the food industry, preferably as a food engineer. Though with my double degree, I am able to work along the entire production line; from a food scientist, to a food technologist, to a project engineer or even a quality manager. I have a passion for understanding the processes behind food and cooking and my chemical understanding can be applied to both small and large scale food production innovation and production.

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 has an incredible study environment. It's fantastic to work with both staff and students who are interested in the field and are passionate about their specific areas of interest. Using the facilities and equipment is always exciting and it's amazing what we as students have access to. Additionally, the atmosphere of the student cohort is always incredibly positive and it is a very inclusive group who are all willing to help each other out.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
This year in food chemistry we investigated the Maillard reaction (the browning when cooking meats, breads and many other foods) in one of our laboratory experiments. I really enjoyed the experiment and wrote an incredibly detailed report on the experiment. I put in additional effort because it was something I truly enjoyed and was fascinated by. My demonstrator was incredibly thorough in his assessment of my report and his willingness to assist in my learning was something I am very grateful for. His review of my report and the discussions we had really exemplified why I study science and was a highlight of my studies thus far.

Do you have a favourite class/teacher/subject? What is it about this class/teacher/subject that you love?
My favourite class was food chemistry as it was a field I have always been interested in and it was fantastic to be able to study it in depth. Rico Tabor is an amazing lecturer and made his section of the content interesting and engaging. He discussed emulsions (mayonnaise is a great example), toxins and also food additives. I didn't think I was ever going to laugh out loud in lectures but he made sure that happened whilst presenting stimulating and important information.

What was the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
I didn't realise how niche topics and subjects could be before I started studying at Monash. I saw chemistry as being a single unit that couldn't be broken down further and I've been pleasantly surprised to find that within chemistry there are numerous fields. This has meant that as I have gone through my course I have been able to select units which were of particular interest to me and focus on those areas. Other areas which I tried earlier on in my degree have still provided useful knowledge in later studying, but when I found those topics to not be as enjoyable I have been able to pursue other areas.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities?
Yes! I am involved as Vice President of the Chemical Engineer's Society (SMUCE) and organise everything from the publication of our annual Career's Guide to weekly industry seminars. I am also an Access Monash Ambassador and Science Peer Mentor. All of these have made me new friends and also in some cases, industry contacts. Additionally I've developed skills, including developing my leadership qualities, time management, discipline and valuable experience from working in groups.

Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience?
Studying science at Monash has given me confidence in knowing that what I really want to do in life is learn. Learning from others, learning from experimentation and even learning from mistakes have all been things which have inspired me to continue to study science, both at Monash and in the future.