Sa’ane Meki is in the final year of her BBiomedSc degree, majoring in Molecular Basis of Health & Disease. Originally from Fiji, Sa’ane’s home is now in Auckland. She travelled south for her education as family members are Otago graduates and she wanted to follow in their footsteps – she also wanted to gain independence and “has learnt heaps – like learning how to save money!” Sa’ane comments that “it is cool to learn so much more about life than just facts”.
The BBiomedSc degree appealed to Sa’ane because of its range of subjects: she particularly enjoys biochemistry and is becoming more interested in research, perhaps in the drug discovery/treatment area. Some of her undergraduate papers have included research proposals and this has informed Sa’ane of some of the knowledge gaps and the areas where new medical treatments are needed.
Sa’ane is considering whether to apply for medicine when she has completed her degree but the idea of research is becoming more important to her – particularly as she wants to win a Nobel Prize! “Knowledge and discovery are led by researchers and it would be cool to contribute to new discoveries that lead to an improvement in health care”.
Sa’ane has enjoyed all her papers and likes the way they are linked. This helps with her understanding of complex topics as she can use information from more than one paper to understand concepts such as cell signalling.
Sa’ane’s advice for future students, particularly those from a Pasifica background, is to explore all the options. When she came to University, Sa’ane didn’t know about the BBiomedSc degree – now she is finding that there are many doors available to students – she encourages all students to “aim for the stars”. It is also important to balance your study with some fun, and to take the time to rest and refresh yourself.
Sa’ane has several secrets for success. She is very organised and utilises a daily “to do” list – noting the pleasure there is in crossing off tasks when they are completed. Time management is important and all assignments are started early and finished at least two days early. To maximise the learning opportunities from lectures Sa’ane first of all listens to lectures, then writes notes, and finally explains these notes (out loud) to herself. She finds this hearing-writing-speaking method to be invaluable in consolidating what she has been taught. It’s obviously working for her, as Sa’ane is well on the way to completing her BBiomedSc degree, and is looking forward to the next step in her career.