Student Promotional Representative (SPROUT) and Casual Academic
The one element I enjoy the most is applying my research to the requirements of our industry partner...
What did you do before you started your course?
I was studying full-time at UTS doing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Forensics.
I also ran and I’m still running my own freelance photography business. I’ve shot a wide range of events, from music festivals, formal dinners, club events, business events, boat cruises, I’ve worked with marketing teams, my photos have been used in a Court of Law as evidence, and I’ve also done a fair bit of marketing work for UTS!
What motivated you to study this degree/major?
My research is about improving air quality, both indoors and outdoors, and also reducing the dependency on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in buildings and replacing that dependency with environmentally friendly and sustainable plant walls.
There were a couple of motivations as to why I decided to do a Masters research degree. After I completed my Bachelors, I found that most people overseas were complimenting their Bachelor science degrees with a Masters degree. I felt that in order to compete on an international scale I needed a degree that was internationally recognised.
I also learnt by talking with various people within industry, that completing a Masters puts you ahead of the game when applying for jobs. There are far more job opportunities that present themselves to someone who graduates with a Masters when compared to someone who is just graduating with a Bachelors.
Lastly, I also wanted to do a research project that allowed me to work close with industry for which I’m privileged to do.
What do you enjoy most about your degree?
The one element I enjoy the most, is applying my research to the requirements of our industry partners and the challenges it has brought. It has been a fantastic learning curve, and I’m always learning new skills that I can utilise when I start looking for job opportunities within my area of research.
My supervisor has always said that the best 3 years of your life is doing a research degree, which is what I’ve experienced.
Why did you choose to study at UTS?
I chose UTS to do my postgraduate degree because I knew I’d be working with internationally recognised research leaders. UTS has always been at the forefront of novel research areas and that’s something I wanted to be a part of.
What is it like to study at UTS Science?
One aspect of studying at UTS Science that I love is being able to have a research project that’s very hands on focused. I spend a lot of time in my lab and in the field, taking measurements and coming up with new experiments for our industry partners.
I’ve also found that UTS academics are very transparent, and are more than happy to sit down with you to discuss various aspects of your research and the changes in industry trends.
Is there any advice you would give to students studying this degree?
My advice to anybody that’s thinking about doing a postgraduate degree or currently undertaking one is to have a clear idea of where you want to head in the future. Do you want to work for industry or do you want to be a researcher? Plan ahead, and take on the opportunities that will open doors for you. Most importantly, network! It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
What would you like to do once you complete by your degree?
I’d like to apply my research into a business practice and work closely with industry. The benefit of working on a novel research area is that it has a lot of room to grow and develop. It’s not confined to particular standards or expectations, so I'm able to push the envelope quite a lot and discover for myself what works and what doesn't work. I feel this gives me a lot of flexibility when it comes to working with other businesses and helps me to meet industry expectations once I complete my degree.
What other activities do you participate/do at uni?
I've been involved in quite a lot of the UTS social life. Currently though, I'm a member of the Sci vs Sci student club so I've been attending their events. I'm also a Student Promotional Representative of UTS, so I work close with the Science Faculty marketing team to promote UTS Science to the next generation of students.
I'm a teaching associate, which means I demonstrate in two different subjects; one’s a first year subject and the other is a second year subject. This role facilitates in the teaching of undergraduate students and to encourage them to start thinking like scientists.
I'm also a first year science mentor that helps first year student’s transition into the university lifestyle. Lastly, I'm the Postgraduate Representative for the Science Faculty Board, which involves discussing the concerns of postgraduate students to the administration board within the Science Faculty.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
I’m a WIRES animal rescuer, which means I respond to jobs that require the rescuing and rehabilitation of our Australian wildlife. I also have my own freelance photography business and I was lucky enough to travel to Antarctica and learn to shoot beside National Geographic photographers. Photography is my passion, and it would be a dream if I could incorporate my research with photography in order to spread awareness of the impact that environmental degradation has on society.