Elliot Munro enjoyed science at school in Dunedin and he sampled university study with summer modules in chemistry and physics taken through Otago's Hands-on Science programme.
So he was confident taking a BSc with a double major at Otago. “I'd heard good things about the courses, a lot of my friends were going, both my parents had studied there, and it was my local university.”
His good academic record earned him a Frontiers of Science scholarship, and study went well.
“It was a real step up from high school, especially all the facilities for practical work. There are lots of technical instruments you would never see at a school.”
Elliot (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou) spent his first year at home, but went flatting for his second. He studied hard and had fun, enjoying powerlifting at the gym and OUSA events such as tournaments for chess and poker.
At the end of his second year he asked around the chemistry and physics departments to see if there was any work over summer, and landed an internship with Photonic Innovations, a University spin-off company developing gas detection products.
“I found it really interesting, encompassing chemistry and physics and electronics, which I'd done a paper on. Otago definitely prepared me for it but I did a lot of learning during the internship as well.”
Elliot's summer job might influence his academic decisions.
“I want to go on to honours but I'm not sure which subject to take. I've been really enjoying the physics so I'm leaning towards that at the moment.”
After honours, Elliot hopes to take a year off, “perhaps do some tutoring, and then probably head back to do some kind of research, hustling in search of that dollar.”
Right now he's looking forward to the last year of his degree and kicking back with a few good friends in a new flat close to the University.