Meet Rachel: Bachelor of Science student

Research opportunities are available to students at all levels. So, no matter where you are in your degree, you can get involved in different areas of science. Even as an undergraduate student, Rachel had the opportunity to work in a lab at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute to build her research skills.

“I participated in the Metcalf Scholarship Program ,which I heard about through the Bachelor of Science newsletter. This scholarship has provided me with a paid placement at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)," says Rachel.

"Specifically, I worked in a laboratory in the Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division at WEHI, contributing to work on the COVID Profile study. This was amazing, as I gained valuable laboratory experience and learnt from leading researchers."

"My role included assisting with the processing of samples collected from participants who were previously infected with COVID-19 and analysing these samples."

A very inspiring and rewarding placement, Rachel was able to see first-hand how researchers apply their knowledge of science to address real-world problems to improve health outcomes. It also have her the chance to apply her knowledge of immunology and biology more broadly to a real-world application and gain valuable laboratory skills.

For Rachel, this opportunity confirmed that she would like to pursue further study in immunology and helped her to understand the many career pathways available in this area.

Why the Bachelor of Science?

Rachel didn't always know she wanted to pursue immunology. After graduating high school, she knew that she loved science but was unsure about what career path she wanted to take. The Bachelor of Science allowed her to explore her broad interests in biology, chemistry and psychology before deciding on a specific major or pathway.

She was also attracted to the location of Parkville campus, which is in the Melbourne CBD. As it is accessible by public transport with many shops, cafes and restaurants nearby. The campus is also located in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, the home of many hospitals and leading scientific research institutes.

Student life at Melbourne

Beyond the classroom, science at Melbourne allowed Rachel to meet many enthusiastic and inspiring people through her classes as well as participating in volunteering, clubs and societies.

“My advice for students starting at university would be to be open-minded and get involved in as many experiences and opportunities as you can.”

Through the Bachelor of Science, Rachel studied alongside like-minded students with diverse backgrounds pursuing a wide range of pathways from mathematical physics to criminology - who offered different knowledge and perspectives. She also gained inspiration from the University's lecturers and tutors, each with a passion and deep understanding of their discipline.

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