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Marc MatsasMarc Matsas

Marc Matsas’s passion for science saw him handing in his master’s thesis on a Wednesday and starting work the following Monday.

“There wasn’t much of a gap,” says Marc.

“I’d always had an interest in science since high school. First I wanted to be a doctor but then I decided I was more intrigued by the science of how the body works, and went for anatomy.”

Going to Knox College and attending Otago were family traditions, and introduced Christchurch-based Marc to Dunedin.

“A lot of people take Dunedin for granted, but it’s a great life here. When you’re on campus everything is easily accessible and you don’t need a car. And when you get mobile there are so many awesome places that Otago has to offer.”

After his BSc, Marc did a postgraduate diploma and a master’s.

“Working in the lab doing my own study was even more interesting, and from that point on you start to develop relationships with the staff. You get to know them as people rather than just lecturers, and really feel part of the scientific community.”

Marc helped fund his studies by working part-time as a first aid instructor for the local Red Cross.

“I’d been a St John cadet at school, and represented New Zealand in a first aid competition, so it was a natural thing to do. And I found I loved teaching.”

Marc’s combination of qualifications and experience landed him a job as New Zealand and Australia brand manager for Education Perfect, a company providing online learning tools.

“We offer help to support NCEA students, working with schools to make sure what we do matches what they are doing.

“I’m passionate about science and about teaching, and Otago gave me the life skills to be good at my work. You grow up and learn a lot about people as well as get qualifications.”