Pascale Zweifel is an object lesson in following your passion.
She’d already had a couple of year’s tertiary study before switching to Otago to take a degree in Physiology.
With a BSc under her belt, she soon found work in a drug research lab, but didn’t find it satisfying — “I wanted a laboratory job with more of a diagnostic focus.”
So when she heard about Otago’s Medical Laboratory Science degree she left her job, managed a quick European OE, and returned to enrol for a BMLSc.
“I decided to go back to study and I’m really glad that I did because I found out what I wanted to do,” says Pascale. “I totally fell in love with histology.”
She admits that the study of anatomy at a microscopic level could put some people off, but not her.
“You do get to see some gross things but I found it fascinating.”
Pascale graduated with Distinction as the top fourth year student in 2011, and was soon practising in the histology laboratory at Nelson hospital.
“You get to see so many different crazy things that come out of people’s bodies, and then you get to make really beautiful stained slides out of them for analysis.
“It’s not an automated field where you just press buttons. It’s a manual process and quite an art.
“It’s also nice to know that you have had an input into someone’s diagnosis or treatment.”
Pascale also works one day a week at a private clinic specialising in skin cancer removal.
“It’s full on. There I was thinking I would never be able to find work in Nelson and here I am with two jobs.”