Bahar Raeisi

Bahar Raeisi

Medical Laboratory Scientist, LabPLUS
Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science

She developed a passion for the sciences when she was in high school, says Bahar Raeisi who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science.

“Biology and chemistry particularly piqued my interest. In my final high school year, we had the option of touring LabPLUS. I registered for the tour, and I vividly remember being fascinated by the lab and the range of tests they performed. It was interesting how concepts we often overlook while we study the sciences in school can be used to detect abnormalities in patients. Additionally, such diagnostic tests can help create treatments, and subsequently improve people’s health and quality of life. After the tour, I knew that I wanted to pursue this degree and work in healthcare.

“The Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science delivers an effective blend of theory and practicality during the first three years. We gleaned regular exposure to the laboratory, further reinforcing all the theory. Our final year was entirely dedicated to placements in medical laboratories across the North Island. In our third year, we had the option of specialising in specific areas of medical laboratory science. I was very fortunate to be offered my clinical placements at LabPLUS in medical microbiology and histology.”

Medical laboratory science is a truly rewarding field, she says.

“The work medical scientists perform is crucial to healthcare and gives healthcare professionals insight into a patient's condition. I’m now working at LabPLUS; a role I was offered after my clinical placements there. I’m really grateful that AUT gave me exposure to employers through the placements, which enabled me to secure a medical laboratory scientist role right after finishing my degree. While working, I’m currently pursuing a postgraduate certificate and working on my next goal.”

The right environment
AUT’s inclusive, social, welcoming and warm atmosphere was another thing Bahar enjoyed about her time at university.

“There are regular markets, events and a vast range of clubs that students can participate in throughout their studies. The support services at AUT are also easily accessible, and range from counselling to financial services. I’ve found that the staff at the Employability Lab offer great opportunities, tips and advice, from connecting you with employers to helping you with your CV. The AUT Student Hub is placed conveniently on campus, and the staff offer extensive support with any questions students may have.”

Another thing she appreciated were the opportunities she had access to throughout her studies.

“In my third year, I was awarded a scholarship to attend the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science’s annual scientific conference in Wellington. I was invited to attend as AUT’s Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science student representative. This opportunity was invaluable, as I was able to meet scientists from varying regions of New Zealand and was exposed to world-class research.

“Through this scholarship, I also got a chance to attend a meeting with the chief allied health professions officer from the Ministry of Health, and discussed the future of the medical laboratory science profession from a student perspective.”

Advice for other students
Bahar – who graduated at the end of 2023 and is proud of being awarded the Fort Richard Laboratories Top Scholar Award in medical microbiology – has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“Some words of advice I’d like to give other university students is to be kind to yourself, always plan ahead and never miss an opportunity that comes your way. Ask numerous questions, and let your curiosity soar.”

Don’t doubt yourself, she adds.

“Recognise that the only thing that can stop you from succeeding and reaching your dreams is the limit you mentally place on yourself. Eliminate your self-doubt, and watch your mind do wonders for you.”