Tilisesi Fatongiatau

Tilisesi Fatongiatau

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

She would love to apply her understanding of chemistry to help the police solve crimes, says Tilisesi Fatongiatau who is currently in the final year of her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.

“My dream job once I graduate is to be a forensic chemist. As a forensic chemist, you examine non-biological trace evidence found in crime scenes to categorise unknown samples and match samples to known substances. The thrill of examining and classifying non-biological samples is what draws me to a career as a forensic chemist.”

While she has loved chemistry since high school, Tilisesi admits she didn’t always know how she could turn this passion into a career.

“Chemistry is a subject I’ve enjoyed since high school, but I wasn’t always sure what careers a chemistry degree can lead to. Fortunately, AUT’s School of Science offers a career evening where you can interact with people from different fields. This event made me realise what career I want to pursue in my future and made me interested in becoming a forensic chemist.”

Supported to thrive
Tilisesi has been impressed by AUT supportive and caring academic staff.

“The academic staff in AUT’s School of Science are caring, supportive and happy to help, and I would highly recommend AUT’s science programmes to other students. I’ve also really enjoyed the practical sessions throughout my degree. Through this experience I’ve gained both laboratory skills and confidence, which I can apply when I’m facing real-life situations.”

She has enjoyed studying in such a supportive university environment.

“AUT has various support services that encourage students to work harder towards their goals.”

Advice for other students
Expecting to graduate at the end of the year, Tilisesi has some great advice for other university students.

“The advice I would give other students is ‘keep your goal in mind’. We all entered university with a goal in mind and working hard towards our goal will help us succeed.”

Never give up, she adds.

“Getting a bad grade isn’t the end to our success; it’s a lesson and a motivation. It’s okay to ask for help.”

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