Alexander Wong is the only one of four brothers to be interested in science and hopes eventually to pursue a medical career. He chose the BBiomedSc degree because of the exposure to a broad range of biomedical disciplines – at second year Alex was able to take papers in anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology and physiology and he found this wide choice to be really stimulating. Alex’s major was in Functional Human Biology and he is now immersed in his Honours year investigating how certain proteins impact on cardiac function, particularly when other disease such as Diabetes mellitus, is also present.
Alex is thoroughly enjoying his Honours year, and especially likes trouble-shooting the myriad of issues that arise in experimental science. Alex notes that “winning the Elizabeth Jean Trotter 400-level Scholarship was huge. I am the first person in my family to win a scholarship and it’s awesome knowing that you don’t have to worry about money for a year”.
Alex thinks that the biggest learning curve in his university career has been to learn time-management and organisational skills, and it wasn’t really till his third year of study that he achieved the proper balance between study and leisure. If he was to start over he “would make use of all the free help the university provides – everything from how to write essays to getting help if you’re stressed. I wish I had done this at first year!”
Luckily Alex did learn these skills and was pleased to see his marks steadily improve as he progressed through his degree, so that he was well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that these good grades allowed.
Alex’s advice for new students is “Make use of all the opportunities on offer. Make sure you attend all your lectures and prepare for tests and exams but also ensure that you schedule breaks and spend time with friends”.
Alex’s time at University has opened his eyes to the myriad of opportunities that are open to him. He retains his interest in Medicine but has really enjoyed working as a demonstrator in the HUBS laboratories so perhaps a teaching career might be part of his future......or alternatively his thirst for knowledge and problem-solving skills might lead him to enrol in a PhD and to a career in research science. The world really is your oyster with an Otago degree!