Choose Science. Change the world.

A careers event like no other.

Choose science evening image

With science, anything is possible. A science degree can open doors to all sorts of careers, all over the world.

If you are thinking about studying science at university, but not sure where it can lead, UC’s Choose Science careers evening will help you. Hear from inspiring UC Science graduates, meet our current students and find out about career opportunities in science.

Meet the speakers for the 2022 Careers Evening

Jacinta Cording

The MC (& Crime Fighter): Dr Jacinta Cording

Jacinta is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology within Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo | the School of Psychology, Speech & Hearing at UC.

As a psychologist, Jacinta is deeply passionate about the opportunity to be part of the solution to many of the ‘wicked problems’ society faces. Her research focusses on how we can use the science of human behaviour to inform the delivery of effective prevention and intervention initiatives for reducing crime and crime-related harm. Jacinta’s primary research work in this space focusses on the reduction of sexual offending and family violence offending, including leading the evaluation of New Zealand’s innovative Family Violence Courts, and collaborating on the roll-out of New Zealand’s first prevention service for individuals who experience sexual attraction to children.

A self-described (and proud) science nerd, Jacinta’s journey started with a BSc from UC and has taken a winding path through a variety of diverse roles, including in investigation support for the NZ Police, and as a statistical analyst and researcher in the public and private sectors. Despite being interested in learning about everything, Jacinta was drawn to a degree in science because of the core analytical and critical thinking skills that are learned along the way. These are skills that are valued by employers and open the door to careers that enable scientists to create meaningful, positive change for individuals, families and whānau, communities, and broader society.

Luke Campbell - graduate

The Digital Entrepreneur: Luke Campbell

Entrepreneurship has been the name of the game since Luke first started at UC. During his undergrad he took part in the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship Summer Startup Programme where he co-founded Vxt, a digital communication platform (that now boasts a cool 10,000+ users).

Luke’s choice of studies is a perfect illustration of his unconventional mindset, combining a Science degree majoring in physics (inspired by personal hero Carl Sagan) and Economics. Luke’s advice? Embrace opportunities. “Give everything you’re interested in a go. You never know what will happen when you keep an open mind.’


Tessa Meyer

The Sustainability Specialist: Tessa Meyer

Tessa specialises in corporate and infrastructure sustainability, helping organisations and large projects to reduce their carbon emissions, improve resilience and achieve broader sustainability outcomes. Tessa began her journey with post-grad research on community resilience and sustainable urbanism, before taking up roles with various public sector organisations. Now, Tessa is Principal Advisor for MPI’s Carbon Neutral Action Plan, which aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2025.

Tessa says her roles are as much about engagement as they are about science. “I love how collaborative my work is, working together to build a strong base for change.”


Olivia Ogilvie

The Food Engineer: Dr Olivia Ogilvie

Olivia is a research fellow in the Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC), a multi-disciplinary centre dedicated to the study of molecular interactions critical to biological function. Her research spans a range of areas: coeliac disease, gluten, allergies and food protein structure. At BIC she’s looking into cultivated meat, a technology that may enable people to make meat without animals.

Olivia enjoys working with people all over the world to solve novel problems, and loves that even as a junior scientist she can travel internationally for work. “A science degree is a great starting point for so many different career paths. You don’t have to work in a lab. There are so many out-of-the-box opportunities.”

Pete Taylor

The Ice Man: Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor is the Environmental Manager for Antarctica New Zealand. His role sees him leading the environmental strategy for the $344M Scott Base Redevelopment Project – New Zealand's largest and most complex construction project ever undertaken in Antarctica. Peter’s passion for the icy continent was fuelled by his experiences as a UC Master’s student. “I travelled to Scott Base to conduct fieldwork in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. It was amazing.”

Peter recommends degrees that incorporate fieldwork. “It helps you understand the environment from a practical point of view. With environmental management, especially in Antarctica, solutions are not always obvious. The ability to step back and analyse a situation is of great importance.”


James Williams

The Data Wrangler: James Williams

 James is an avid data scientist and software engineer, developing bespoke data-driven software for companies around the world through his consulting company Modality. He started on this journey while studying applied mathematics at Yale under a Fulbright scholarship, where he worked on a wide range of research projects and industry partnerships at the Yale Institute for Network Science (YINS). “There are so many practical applications of mathematics, statistics, and computer science that have yet to be realized. I love working with companies to find innovative solutions to challenging problems in a cost-effective way.”

James is also the Data Science Industry Coordinator at the University of Canterbury, where he teaches and manages student projects for the Masters of Applied Data Science (MADS). He is passionate about teaching and believes that anyone can benefit from a deeper understanding of science. “Life is full of problems waiting to be solved, and science and problem solving go hand in hand.”


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Where to go

Free parking will be available in the Clyde Car Park. From there, make your way to the Central Lecture Theatres (see red map pins below).

Explore where science can take you!