Rebecca O'Conor

Rebecca O'Conor

Rebecca O'Conor

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2014
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science
  • Major(s): Ecology and conservation biology
  • Minor(s): Plant sciences

Why did you decide to study Science?
To help others have a better life and perform hands on activity.

What made you choose Monash University in particular?
Growing up, I was always fascinated with exploring the unknown and watching Science related programs on television. Then when I was in year 12, my head was all over the place with what I wanted to study. I had played in orchestras all through high school and loved playing music, but I also had a fascination with medicine and what can be achieved to help the human race. So in the end, I decided to study Science, my childhood love.

What is your favourite aspect of studying science?
My favourite aspect of studying Science is exploring the unknown! In science, you never know what is coming next, so I love the mystery and adventure that entails when studying.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I actually have a few ideas and plans with what I would like to do after I graduate. I would like to apply for exchange and complete a Master's of Ecology at a University in Germany since I also speak fluent German and miss my friends over there as well as possibly complete a PhD there. If not, I will apply for Honours at Monash since otherwise, there is no other university I would rather be studying at in Australia.

I will also be applying for post graduate positions so I can get some more hands on experience working in the field and perhaps complete an Honours degree after having more experience. 
In other words, I'm quite flexible with what I will do, as long as I am still studying Ecology and having fun!

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 gives you the choice of what type of science you wish to study. In first year, you can choose from so many sections of science to pursue to find what your passion is if you are unsure, and then in second year, really get involved in those that you choose to major and/or minor in. There is also a very large range of individual science units to choose from which means you have plenty to choose from and lots of variety!

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
I was head strong that I wanted to finish my Science degree and try to get into medicine. Then, everything changed when I started taking Environmental Biology in the second semester of my first year. That class alone made me realise that I did not want to study medicine at all, I wanted to study environment all along! It was a huge turning point in my education and I would definitely class that as my highlight so far! However, I am about to go on some pretty cool Biology field trips next year so that might change my view of highlights in the next few weeks or so.

Do you have a favourite class/teacher/subject? What is it about this class/teacher/subject that you love?
BIO2011: Ecology and Biodiversity. It was such an interesting unit that investigated a lot of differences in Ecology. This unit also had my favourite lecturer, Susie Ho in it! She is so enthusiastic about what she does and she really inspired me to pursue my hopeful future career in ecology more.

What was the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
I was really worried that going in without studying certain subjects in High School would prevent me from doing well in those units. However, there are many places and people who you can seek help from, so you never feel like you're going in cold or alone.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities?
I am a Residential Advisor at Deakin Hall, one of the Halls of Residence on Clayton Campus. This means that I help first years settle in to university as well as help out in times of need. I also help plan social and other types of events within my hall to promote community involvement. Next year, I also have the awesome opportunity to be a Science Peer Mentor which means that I will also get to help first years settle into university life that may not live on campus! From these experiences, I have gained leadership and organisational skills that will help me in my future career

Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience?
If you are unsure about which university you wish to go to or if you wish to study Science, come and study Science at Monash. It honestly has changed the course of my future career for the better and it could happen to you too! Did I forget to mention that it's a lot of fun too? :)