How reaching out can help you make the most of uni

11 May 2018

Written by Brody Hannan

Brody Hannan is a fourth-year Bachelor of Science student. Here he shares some of his tips for making the most of the opportunities available at ANU.

Connect with your teachers

In my first year of university, I threw myself into all the activities the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science had to offer. I didn’t know much about science communication, but thought the subject sounded interesting and the events included some incredible speakers.

At the end of each event I’d go up and talk to the presenter and catch up with lecturers that had taught me in previous semesters. I’d express my interest in the area, and ask if I could help with whatever project they were working on. As a result, I have been able to work on a number of research projects since my first year of uni, honing my research and writing skills. 

Apply for internships

Wanting to turn my research skills into professional experience, I applied for an ANU Science Internship, and got in!

I was placed at the Australian Research Council and the Climate Change Institute and worked on several research projects for both the government and the ANU. My colleagues and supervisors were generous with their time and mentorship, and thanks to them and the experience gained through the internship, I secured future opportunities, both at the University of Oxford and the British High Commission.  

My advice is to make the most of the internship programs available to science students, and the invaluable connections you’ll make along the way.

Make international networks

An ANU mentor once said to me “Ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money twice”. This strategy is certainly true for seeking experience, too.

For example, when I went on exchange to King’s College London, I connected with a researcher looking at education policy, a topic I’m interested in, and ended up becoming her Research Assistant.

Put yourself forward

As an undergraduate, people are willing to help you. All you have to do is ask questions, and suggest avenues you think you’d want to take future research.

With the incredible support of ANU staff and their networks, the opportunities are endless.