Sam Blackburn

Sam Blackburn

Sam Blackburn

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Honours
  • Year commenced: 2016
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • Major(s): Ecology and conservation biology; Zoology

Why did you decide to study science?  
I didn’t initially intend on studying science. Despite being science-orientated throughout school, I actually started out doing a Bachelor of Arts. However, I still chose to study Chemistry as an elective unit, and after a semester I’d decided to transfer into a Bachelor of Science.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
Being from country Victoria, it was actually the on-campus accommodation I was focusing on. I had a couple of friends already at Monash and family members who’d already been through the system - all speaking very highly! The more I thought about it, the innovative and outward-looking nature of Monash really aligned well with my values and I felt it was the best fit for me. We’re lucky in Melbourne though, with so many world-class universities it’s hard to go wrong!

What's your favourite aspect of studying science? 
I think being able to influence change through telling really interesting stories from start to finish. Identifying an issue, coming up with some sort of way to test out why something’s happening, and then answering and communicating those results with a wider audience in an accessible manner is a really cool way of solving the larger problems at hand.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
At the time of writing, it’s sort of hard to know until things go back to being somewhat more normal. I think travel in some form will very much be on the books once bans are lifted, but that’s likely to still be a while away yet. Otherwise, I’ve sort of drifted to where I am now and so far, I’m pretty happy with how that’s worked out for me!

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
As an Ecology & Zoology student, any opportunity to get out into the field is great; I’ve been lucky enough to go on a number of really cool field trips as parts of just core units! So those, and the more research-focused units I’ve done, where there’s been the chance to do the research and write-up components properly, and to see it all come together is really cool!

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course? 
That communication and interpersonal skills are less of a focus and numbers are everything. Rather, communicating your results in a way everyone can understand (yay English) is a really big part of good science (even if the maths is still there!).

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say? 
If science happens to be what you enjoy, awesome! Follow your passions first and the rest will absolutely fall in place! If your future career is what you’re worried about, the skills you obtain through a science degree (regardless of the discipline) are always going to be in demand. What you choose to study doesn’t have to necessarily dictate your career options one bit.

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
Things do tend to work out one way or another so there’s no point stressing about things that are out of your control. You can only do what you can do, so appreciate every moment for what it is, the good and the bad, and just wing it from there.