Meet Tom Stevenson: Hansen Scholar, 2021 Cohort

Tom Stevenson is studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemical Engineering Systems. Learn about his experience so far, and why he'd encourage aspiring scholars to apply.

My time at the University of Melbourne has undoubtedly been one of the best and most transformative periods of my life. As a Hansen Scholar, I have been given the opportunity to live in a whole new city and explore my passion at the top university in the country.

Even outside of my university course, I have learned so many things and been able to grow in all areas of my life. I have learned to live independently, manage my own schedule and finances, and move through the world as an adult. I have met a lot of incredible friends and made important connections that will help me in my future career.

Back before I applied, I would normally scroll past scholarship advertisements in my school emails all the time. I was only thinking about school then and didn’t really care about what would come next. The Hansen Scholarship Program was different though; it stood out immediately as it had everything I needed, so I decided to apply and put my all into getting in.

The support I have received has made me feel much more confident and assured in my university life.

The Hansen Scholarship events I have attended have all been incredible. The awards ceremony in the first year was an opportunity for our hard work to be officially recognised and gave us the chance to network with many important people in the University. The 2-day retreat we took to Portarlington was an absolute blast where we got some much-needed time off and were able to get to know each other a lot better.

Living at Little Hall has allowed me to direct all my focus and energy into my passions, as it has taken away the financial stress I would otherwise have to deal with. It is a beautiful building, with excellent facilities and with everyone being university students, it creates a hardworking and driven environment that pushes me to succeed. Little Hall is also so close to both the University and the centre of the city, so I've been able to explore so much and have truly felt immersed in the Melbourne lifestyle.

My roommate (and now very close friend) Albert and I have lived together since we first moved in. We do a lot of things together and have introduced each other to things we would never have seen before. Both of us have dreams and goals we wish to achieve, and every day we push each other to better ourselves in pursuit of them. We keep each other accountable and follow each other’s progress. Both of us have achieved things in the past year and a half that would never have been possible if not for the other.

My advice for aspiring scholars? All I can say is just give it a shot.

When I applied, I really thought I had no chance, and that I’d just try it for the sake of it. Regardless, I kept trying my best in each round of the selection process and now here I am. If you really want what this program has to offer, then you have to give it your all. There’s nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

Thinking of applying for the 2024 intake? Find out more about the Hansen Scholarship Program, and click below to read other scholars' experiences:

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