3rd-year student, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
At an AUT science lecture you don’t just learn the theory, says Shaun D’souza who came to AUT as an international student from Sri Lanka to study a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.
“Our lecturers also introduce and discuss a lot of real-life applications of chemistry during the lectures. It has been fascinating to understand how the science we learn is put to use in the industry.”
As well as gaining an understanding of the practical applications of science, Shaun has also discovered a passion for organic chemistry and now dreams of becoming an organic chemist.
“I was always uncertain about which area of chemistry I was most interested in but when my lecturer introduced me to the many exciting areas of research within organic chemistry, it sparked my hidden interest and helped me structure my future accordingly. My dream career would be to work as an organic chemist where I can research reaction mechanisms and synthesize different molecules.”
An easy decision
Deciding to study at AUT was easy, says Shaun who has always been fascinated by chemistry and would often do simple experiments at home.
“The world is a big place, and I thought attending a big university like AUT would better prepare me for the real world. AUT has a very strong School of Science, and I wanted to learn from some of the best minds in the country. I also appreciate that the smaller and more interactive classes give me the chance to engage with other students and work together to complete projects.”
He would highly recommend AUT’s science programmes to other students.
“I’d like to encourage all students who are passionate about chemistry and science in general to come and study at AUT. The theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and research opportunities here at AUT will you give the perfect foundation to start a rewarding career in science.”
Advice for other students
With only one more year of his degree ahead of him, Shaun has some great advice for other students.
“When you start university, there’s going to be a lot of pressure to make decisions based on the path you will take in life. Don’t give in to that pressure. Your time at university is an opportunity to try out different things and see what fits. Take classes that interest you, try to learn things outside of your comfort zone and experience everything that the university has to offer.
“I loved that I got the opportunity to pick and learn from a bunch of exciting electives like food science and microbiology. These ended up giving me the much-needed interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that could be a game-changer for me in the future.”
There’s plenty of help available if you need it, he adds.
“At several instances during my study, I found it hard to keep up with the lecture material and assignments. During these times the unconditional support and guidance from the academic staff was what helped me pull through.”