Katerina Sova

Katerina Sova

Katerina Sova

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Year commenced: 2017
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • Major(s): Mathematics; Physics

Why did you decide to study science?
I began my course in 2017 with a double degree of Engineering and Biomedical Science because I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. In my first year, I only had one elective, and I chose a physics unit in the science faculty. The physics unit, as well as some of the mathematics units in the engineering course, were by far my favourite units in my first year at uni, which is what helped me realise that these subjects are my passion! I transferred into a double degree of Engineering / Science in my second year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m absolutely loving studying exactly the subjects that interest me the most in my Science degree.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
I remember walking around various universities on Open Days while I was still in high-school, and I just absolutely loved the ‘green’ and very open atmosphere at Monash University. I also really wanted to do a double degree, and Monash offered a huge variety of double degrees that I was interested in.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science?
One of my favourite things about my Science degree compared to some other degrees is that there is such a variety of subjects and course-progression options. I love how flexible it is because it allows me to feel in-control of what I’m doing in my degree. I can choose every unit I do based on what I enjoy and what interests me, and I am able to arrange my course structure how I want it.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
With still 3 years left in my degree, I’m trying to stay open-minded about my career. I don’t want to make any concrete decisions too early on because I want to investigate a variety of options, try heaps of new and unexpected things during my degree to see what feels right, and let that guide my pathway out of uni.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
After just 1 year in my science degree I was accepted into a scholarship program to complete a 6-week Summer Research Project in the Monash School of Astrophysics. This research project was a huge leap for me because a lot of the concepts were completely new to me – I hadn’t yet studied this area of astrophysics in my course and I had to do some advanced data analysis and coding in the project. Some of the data files were so long I sometimes had to leave them running overnight! However, with the guidance of my wonderful supervisor I had learned so much by the end of the project. It was a very rewarding and eye-opening experience for me about what the world of astrophysics research might be like. I’m looking forward to completing future research units or summer projects over the course of my undergraduate degree.

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
When I first started my degree, I had a misconception that research was the only possible career option after a Science degree. After some time in the course and I was exposed to a huge range of possible post-graduate STEM roles, internships and career pathways from a science degree both inside AND outside of research-related fields.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say?
Consider doing a double degree with Science. One of the things I really love about Science is how well it integrates into and complements what I am studying in my Software Engineering degree. For example, when I completed my Physics Summer Research Project I used coding and data analysis knowledge from my Software Engineering degree and mathematics and physics from my Science degree. Science heavily impacts so may industries - it is very likely that your career will involve working with a variety of disciplines, especially in STEM fields.

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
Make use of all the opportunities you can! Monash has so much more to offer outside of just the units you study. Study abroad, university clubs and societies, social events, professional development such as industry-based learning, mentoring, extra-curricular projects… this is just a small list of all the great things you can do here. Experiences such as these are the defining moments that you will remember from your time at university.