Varnika Vaddiraju

Varnika Vaddiraju

Varnika Vaddiraju

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Year commenced: 2019
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • Major(s): Developmental biology
  • Minor(s): Physiology

Why did you decide to study science? 
From a young age, I was very strongly encouraged to pursue science (medicine in particular) by my family. However, it wasn’t until I got to VCE Biology that I realised how much I enjoyed it, and so decided that I would like a career in biomedical sciences. Towards the end of Year 12, I still wasn’t completely sure as to what exactly I wanted to do; I did have medicine as something I was interested in, but was open to exploring more options, and thus chose a Bachelor of Science.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
I always wanted to go to Monash; it was a bit of a high school fantasy. When I visited the Clayton campus for open days/other events, I loved the atmosphere of it – it just felt so open and welcoming. Additionally, I’d explored some post-graduate course options, and many of them were offered at Monash, and so I thought that it would be beneficial to undertake my undergraduate degree here as well.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science? 
I love the fact that I’m able to understand so much about the human body. I don’t think we realise just how incredible our bodies are and being able to study them in such great detail leaves me in awe. There are many aspects to our body that are seemingly so simple, yet are so extremely complicated, and I love the satisfaction I get from understanding the processes behind these.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
It’s difficult for me to pick out one highlight, but some things include:

  • My friends – thanks to my degree, I’ve met some of my best friends, who I’m truly grateful for
  • Discovering that I had so many options – I went into first year without a clear goal or future plan in mind, and to be honest, I was terrified. However, now that I’ve seen just how many options I’ve got, I’m definitely more at ease
  • Studying subjects/topics that I am genuinely interested and passionate about

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course? 
It is extremely hard – this has been the case sometimes, however most of the time, I’ve found my units doable, despite requiring a lot of effort on my part. Additionally, I also had the idea that at university, I would essentially have to figure out everything by myself. While I do have to be a lot more independent than I was at high school, I’ve had so much support from tutors, convenors, as well as my peers.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say? 
Do it! A BSc. is a great degree for anyone who’s passionate/interested in science but is unsure as to what kind of career exactly they’re looking for. Additionally, it’s a perfect “stepping stone” for a broad range of scientific post-graduate courses that require an undergraduate degree. However, I wouldn’t recommend it if a potential student has an exact career in mind (e.g. nursing, nutrition), as in this case it’s better to undertake the relevant degrees to those careers.

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
Put yourself out there! You never know what opportunities are available unless you ask/apply/try. This is something that has worked for my education, career, and friendships. Additionally, never hesitate to ask for assistance/clarification.