T Venessa Nguyen

T Venessa Nguyen

T Venessa Nguyen

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Year commenced: 2016
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
  • Major(s): Earth and environmental sciences

Why did you decide to study science?
I was always drawn to science growing up and loved learning about how the world worked. Science, and in particular, physics, was also a beautiful source of solace for me during some turbulent years. In a way, finding joy and curiosity for the unknown through science brought me so much comfort, inspiration, and hope. It seems counter-intuitive but I truly think the scientific endeavour is one of optimism; we are constantly driven to improve and discover.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
In all honesty, I had not even considered Monash until after I received my results. Monash was my friend’s dream university, and I went along with him to the Change of Preferences Expo in December thinking it would just be nice to catch up. It was maybe my first time properly visiting Monash and I loved it so much I knew I had to be here. I now consider Monash my second home.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science?
The people! I have met such wonderful, kind, and inspiring people throughout my studies. Although I did go through an awkward first year phase, just like everyone else, I eventually found my niche, and with it changed from an Astrophysics major to an Environmental Earth Science major. I loved that I could customise my degree in this way.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
Celebrate, work overseas, explore my industry. I actually love so many facets of my specialisation that I’m not bothered what I do afterwards, so long as it is within my field. In fact, I really want to try my hand at a couple of different roles simply to explore. I can see myself working in soil remediation, and maybe policy. I am also currently working for the sustainability department at the City of Monash and am enjoying waste management and educational outreach, so I really do not know, and I really do not mind.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
This is a tough question. It might be volunteering with Access Monash, or spending a month in the Australian outback mapping rocks, or spending my holidays in Italy learning about sustainability. It might even just be coming to class and knowing that I belong here.

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
That it would be a competitive blood bath. I honestly thought university would be akin to the Hunger Games, everyone competing for internships and jobs etc. I laugh as I write this because I genuinely thought this until I experienced Environmental Science at Monash. I find so many ways to connect with others and love collaborative learning. As a science student, you have to do so much group work, and along the way, you find your people and learn that actually, most are fairly lovely.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say?
If you are thinking about it, then what is stopping you? If it is ATAR related concerns, I assure you there are so many ways to work around this (trust me, google it). If it is far from home, ask yourself whether you are willing to settle. I decided that distance was not a good enough reason to confine my dreams, and honestly the very thought is equally depressing and impossible. It might be hard, but there are lots of options, and if it makes your heart sing, then it is worth your best shot.

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
I read somewhere on the internet that in life, you only needed to impress your five-year-old self, and your eighty-five-year-old self. I would also add that being a kind human to others, and to yourself is important. Also, stop buying your textbooks new.