Bachelor of Science student Lachlan Taylor shares his experience of studying at the University of Newcastle.
Bachelor of Science at the University of Newcastle
My name is Lachlan Taylor, and I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Biological Sciences and Sustainable Resource Management) at the University of Newcastle (UON). I’d like to share why I chose the Bachelor of Science, what my experience has been like, and what my life might look like after I finish my degree.
Deciding on a Bachelor of Science at UON
I’ve always been interested in the world around me and how things work. Through most of high school I had my heart set on becoming a physiotherapist, so naturally I chose to study biology and chemistry for my HSC. By the end of the HSC however, I’d discovered that I really enjoyed science and decided to pursue a scientific career.
After two years of full-time retail work in Australia and New Zealand, I began my Bachelor of Science majoring in Biological Sciences. Originally I wasn’t sure what discipline I wanted to follow but the flexibility of the program meant I didn’t have to make the decision straight away. After taking a few Environmental Science courses in my first year as electives, I decided to add a second major – Sustainable Resource Management. Since that decision, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities that the program has provided such as being able to do classes in research grade laboratories and volunteer on conservation projects.
The Bachelor of Science Experience at UON
My first semester at university was a new experience for me. Coming from a school where the largest class I was in had about 30 people, it was a bit daunting when I arrived at my first lecture with 500 other people. I quickly found a few people I’d met at the UON Orientation Day the previous week and I was off and running. Within two weeks of starting university I was in the laboratory, which has remained a mainstay throughout my degree.
Studying the Bachelor of Science has been great with the flexibility the program offers. There is plenty of opportunity to try different things and even study abroad as part of the degree. Lab classes have been a highlight of the degree for me. Classes are held in research grade laboratories with academics who are top of their field, and student numbers are small enough that there is opportunity to talk with the academics to get an insight to their chosen area of research.
There’s plenty of extracurricular volunteer opportunities available. I’ve been able to work on a project monitoring the Green and Golden Bell Frogs of Kooragang Island. I’ve also been able to complete an industry placement within my degree which has been a fantastic way to get more fieldwork in and increase my skills outside of class times. Overall, I’ve enjoyed being challenged by the practical components of my degree and I feel confident that I can transfer these skills into the workplace.
Another great thing about UON is the way it supports its students. There are regular activities at lunch time for students to get involved in and regular guest speaker events. UON also offers a careers service, which I have found very useful for interview and CV preparation.
Life After University
I’m looking at keeping my options open for life after university. I’d like to do further research into amphibian ecology or water management through an honours project at UON. After that I’d like to work in either a private environmental consultancy firm or in a state or federal environmental department. In the long term, I’d like to pursue further study and move into research or town planning. Working overseas is also a goal of mine. My time at UON has prepared me well for my life after university, and most importantly, gives me the opportunity and skills to explore all the opportunities that will arise in the future.