My name is Jai, and I am in my third year of a Bachelor of Science – Enhanced Program for High Achievers, specialising in Biotechnology, and about to move forward and conduct my final Honours year in 2019.
One of the fantastic parts of this Science Degree program is the opportunity to conduct research relevant to your own specialisation in the form of a scientific research project in every year of the degree. Throughout my three years, I have worked in a number of different exciting labs, which has given me the opportunity to gain many new technical skills, meet many new people and really understand how my industry works on a day to day basis.
As a result of being in this degree program and achieving academically, I was able to apply for the opportunity to speak about my research at The Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research, ACUR 2018 at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Flinders University funded my expenses for this trip which was great because I got to have this awesome experience without having to worry about the expenses.
At the conference I was able to speak about a project I had conducted in the previous year of my study, in front of approximately 80 people that I had never met before. This was a very new experience for me, and really assisted in the development of my public speaking skills and the ability to speak to people from diverse backgrounds, both culturally and academically. In addition to presenting, there were a number of great opportunities to learn about the exciting research being conducted by other students in Universities across Australasia. As this conference was a two-day event, there were plenty of opportunities to meet the other speakers and students and build friendships and connections with individuals I would otherwise never meet.
The overall experience was brilliant, it really got me out of my comfort zone and taught me a lot about how to give conference presentations, something that may be very valuable in my future career. So my advice to all students is to take every opportunity available to you, there is so much on offer at Flinders and I am looking forward to further opportunities that come my way!