'I tailored my degree for a future career as a criminal behavioural analyst...'
Master’s student, Bond University, Queensland, Australia
Having always had a clear idea of her chosen career, Belinda is shaping her university studies to give herself the best possible start down that path.
‘I’m tailoring my degree for a future career as a criminal behavioural analyst. I hope to get to the point where I can act as a consultant for Scotland Yard or the FBI,’ she says, ‘although a role with the Crime and Corruption Commission or in a research position is probably more likely early in my career.’
Belinda is currently studying towards a Master of Criminology (Professional) at Bond University, where she has studied a range of topics, including criminal profiling, politically motivated violence, and transnational organised crime. ‘The skills that I developed at UC have contributed to my success here, topping classes each semester and getting overall grades in the top 4% of students at Bond,’ she says.
‘My majors at UC had a specific focus on topics related to crime and justice. I studied subjects which I’m passionate about and which inform me about both myself and the world. I know what I want to do, and I’ve developed my degree so that it will hopefully give me a big boost into my career.’
Belinda originally enrolled at UC to study Law. ‘I always wanted to work in the justice sector, and started a Law degree. I discovered it really wasn’t what I wanted to do, took Professor of Sociology Greg Newbold’s course in Criminology and never looked back.’
Having lived in Christchurch for several years, Belinda opted to study at UC because ‘I didn’t want to go anywhere else. UC has interesting courses, great teachers and was a better institution for me than any other university in the country.’
While at UC, Belinda was a member of the School of Social and Political Sciences’ Student Affairs Committee and was a class representative ‘more times than I can remember!’
Outside of study at Bond, Belinda makes the occasional trip back to New Zealand to spend time with her family and fiancé. ‘My favourite things to do are catching up on my reading; watching sci-fi shows to break up long study sessions; and sleep, which you never get enough of at master’s level!’
Belinda’s advice to anyone considering tertiary study is that it helps enormously if you know what you want to do in the longer term and can structure your degree accordingly. ‘And if you don’t know, at least draft out a general goal. A degree is so much less complicated if you know the courses you have to take and the courses you want to take. It allows you to draft a nice balance each semester.
‘Set yourself a lofty goal to strive for, but be kind to yourself if you don’t make it. Your success, whilst helped by decent grades, isn’t dependent on doing it right first time every time. As long as you take away a lesson about yourself, every failure or disappointment is a chance to learn, and that’s what shapes your future.
‘Another tip: be passionate, even if you sometimes have to exaggerate it – courses then become more interesting, and sometimes you discover talents and interests you didn’t know you had.’