Olivia Pither

'There are so many different opportunities within arm's reach...'

  • Olivia Pither

Studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

A degree in Chemistry at UC offers all the diversity and flexibility that Olivia needs to stand her in good stead for her future career.

'My ultimate goal is to get into the Police force, to specialise and work my way up. I am particularly interested in the forensics and serious crash units at present and a science degree will serve me well in those areas. But I'm not ruling anything out and the door is open for further study at postgraduate level if I decide to do that.'

In her final year at high school, Olivia won a UC Science Scholarship which was worth $5000 towards her tuition fees.

'I was extremely grateful, not just in a financial sense but as a bit of a confidence boost. It made me start believing in my abilities and showed me that if I work hard, the rewards are there.'

Although she could have happily studied any science subject, Olivia decided to major in Chemistry.

'Problem solving has always been one of my key strengths and Chemistry brings that challenge to the floor. At times you can feel so bogged down like nothing is making sense, but when you finally reach that moment of understanding, your mechanism works, or something goes right in your synthesis, that is one of the greatest satisfactions. Chemistry is cross-linked with both biology and physics, so you get a great taste for all three sciences in the one major.'

Olivia has enjoyed the atmosphere at UC, both in her academic department and on campus generally.

'What I love about studying at Canterbury is that it has a fantastic student culture, in particular since the earthquakes, and there is a certain "band together" feel around campus. Because of the earthquakes there's going to be a lot of exciting things happening over the next few years and I believe that the University is only going to flourish from this and become even more attractive to students throughout New Zealand.

'I also love that there are so many different opportunities within arm's reach. One thing that has really stood out for me is my membership with Golden Key. It is a forum of endless opportunities, and I hope that I can maximise these whilst I am at UC.

Another thing Olivia appreciates is the efforts of the teaching staff.

'It is really incredible to see how dedicated some of the lecturers and tutors are, not just to their own research, but to inspiring and empowering students to push themselves. I really like the mentoring scheme that we have in the Chemistry department, where each student is assigned to an academic to give course, career and any other advice required. I feel that this is an invaluable programme as it allows us as students to engage with academics directly.'

Joel Schuurman

Joel Schuurman

'I love how the department and my group treat me like a scientist...'

Katy ledingham

Katy Ledingham

'I want to constantly try new things, challenge myself, and be as successful as I can...'