Meet Zahraa Hameed: Hansen Scholar, 2020 Cohort

Zahraa Hameed is studying a Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Pharmacology. Here she shares her highlights of the Hansen Scholarship Program, including how volunteering has enriched her university experience.

Studying at the University of Melbourne as a Hansen Scholar has been a rewarding and a transformative experience. Meeting likeminded, passionate and ambitious students as part of the Hansen Scholarship cohort as well as the wider University community has definitely been the highlight of the past few years.

The Melbourne curriculum has given me the opportunity to explore the different fields within the Bachelor of Biomedicine that I am passionate about and the opportunities I can pursue following my undergraduate degree. I've thoroughly enjoyed my Pharmacology major, and I look forward to pursuing a career in the medical field or within biomedical research.

Coming from a disadvantaged background, the Hansen Scholarship was an opportunity for me to access first-class tertiary education and make the most of my experience at university.

It's been a wonderful experience participating in the Hansen Scholarship Program. Having the opportunity to meet and mentor new cohorts of the program is very rewarding and has given me the chance to share my own experiences with others. The casual BBQs and Culture Club events have enabled me to form close friendships with fellow scholars. Formal events such as award ceremonies served as perfect opportunities for networking and meeting the donors of the program.

Hansen Scholars at Little Hall

Zahraa and her fellow Hansen Scholars hanging out at Little Hall.

Over the past two years, I've had the opportunity to focus on student led and leadership opportunities. I volunteered as a Mentor as part of the University of Melbourne Peer Mentoring Program for the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. I also volunteered at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as well as the Centre for Multicultural Youth, working with newly arrived young immigrants and refugees.

Focusing on community engagement has enriched my undergraduate experience and enabled me to develop essential valuable skills.

Little Hall is the perfect place to live in as its close proximity to campus means I don't have to commute to university. Being able to live with fellow scholars meant that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, I still had the opportunity to meet other students and form friendships. The large number of common areas and study spaces in the Hall have provided me with a space other than my room to study with others, which has been very helpful in enabling me to manage the workload of university.

The one thing that has surprised me the most about university is the flexibility and freedom I had when it came to choosing majors and breadth subjects. I've taken on subjects that have helped me develop new skills, such as learning a new language. The need to adapt to different modes of learning at university can be challenging, however with the appropriate support provided by the University and the Hall, it's been a smooth and positive experience.

I would highly recommend any eligible year 12 students to apply for the Hansen Scholarship Program. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I believe it would be quite difficult to get that level of support and the opportunity to meet so many amazing individuals anywhere else.

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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