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Student story

Shimon Endo

20 July 2023

"Studying set me up well for a career in chemistry and toxicology..."


Bachelor of Science

Forensic Scientist, Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR), Wellington

Coming from Japan, what led you to move to New Zealand?

I attended school in the Tama and Setagaya regions of Tokyo when I was little, but I have grown up traveling around the globe with my family as my father’s job involved much overseas work. So, I certainly had a non-ordinary upbringing.

When I was 14, I was given a chance to move to New Zealand and go to Sacred Heart College in Auckland. I had zero English skills at the start, but the great teachers there soon helped me learn. 

How did you find it going into university?

Studying at the University of Canterbury changed my life, and it was certainly a great challenge at the start as my English was not great. Yet, education at UC truly opened my mind and showed me potential for my future. I met great people, made lifelong friends, and had experiences I’ll never forget while at University. It is especially memorable that I survived the Christchurch earthquake and several other large earthquakes too.

Where did you end up after graduating?

I started working for SOE company Asurequality Ltd in Wellington, as a residue laboratory technician in the Specialised Analytical Chemistry department. I worked there for over seven years. 

I was lucky to have a job based on my background and learned much more and gained many experiences. Also, I worked with wonderful people. I gained a lot of experience when I oversaw work looking after various instruments there for several years.

And now you’re working at ESR in its Bioanalytical team. What inspired the new role?

I was always interested in the toxicology field, so I am glad to have an opportunity to work here. I suppose it’s the mysterious part of forensic science that’s the key attraction. The most exciting thing about working at ESR for me is meeting new people and working with an amazing team. It is fair to say every day is interesting and colourful.

Sounds really fascinating! How did your Chemistry degree prepare you for that work?

Studying set me up well for a career in chemistry and toxicology, and I’d encourage anyone thinking about studying Science at UC to sign up. No day is ever the same, you work on great projects, and most importantly you build lasting friendships.

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