'Christchurch is unique at the moment in that there’s a much larger platform for student participation...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Mathematics
It was while studying her first-year science courses that Alison realised she would like to work in medicine.
‘I took a range of courses in first year, from Physics to Biology,’ she explains. ‘What really stood out for me in each of them was how that knowledge could be used to help people. I would love to work in medicine in some way, whether it’s through the relatively new area of mathematical physiology modelling human organ systems, or in an area such as inorganic chemistry.’
Alison says that a science degree was always the natural choice for her, but choosing an area to specialise in was the difficult part. When she was choosing what university to go to, one thing that stood out at UC was the opportunity to take a range of papers in the first year.
‘This really allows you to get a good idea of each subject before you start specialising. It’s also a good chance to try something new and find out where your study can lead.’
She adds: ‘I love the diversity of the field of science and the opportunity to continue to learn and grow in it. I’d love to travel as well, so postgraduate study overseas is something I aim to do.’
Moving to Christchurch from Marlborough was quite a step for Alison, but through various opportunities offered by the University she was confident it would work out.
She was awarded a UC Emerging Leaders’ scholarship, which includes a special development programme.
‘It made the transition to university easy,’ she says. ‘Before lectures had even started I already had this group of people I knew. Then the ongoing development programme provided me with other opportunities throughout the year to get involved in university life, through helping with events such as “The Concert”, and through mentoring. Staying in Rochester and Rutherford hall of residence was also something I was really excited about coming here for.’
Alison continues to immerse herself in a lot of activities outside her studies.
‘I’m involved in a few committees next year including Chemsoc, Frenchsoc and the Golden Key Honours Society. I also mentor, tutor and volunteer. I like running, cycling, cooking, swimming, exploring Christchurch, reading... I just like trying anything new when I get the chance.’
She strongly recommends Christchurch as a place to study and to have a great student experience all round.
‘Christchurch is unique at the moment in that there’s a much larger platform for student participation and for our ideas to be heard. There are hundreds of opportunities available and the earthquakes have actually caused changes within the University which make it one of the most exciting places in New Zealand to be.
‘The sense of community that you get here is amazing. It’s such a massive place but you always feel at home. The campus itself is beautiful, there’s always somewhere new to discover.’