How Paige kept an open mind to be ready for anything

Paige came to the University of Melbourne without a set study plan, but her open mind and willingness to embrace new experiences have provided her with the skills and education to be ready for anything.

When it came time for Paige to research her university options, it was the structure of the Melbourne curriculum and the immersive learning experiences available that ultimately drew her to the University of Melbourne.

“I remember thinking this was one of the biggest decisions I’d ever had to make,” says Paige. “I was freaking out. I was 18, how was I supposed to know what I want to do with the rest of my life? Melbourne allowed me leeway when I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do in the future.”

Now, Paige is in the third year of her Bachelor of Biomedicine majoring in Human Structure and Function and hopes to go on to postgraduate study in the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The course itself offers her a structured pathway to explore a future in health, while the Melbourne curriculum’s breadth subjects allow her to experience, and be challenged by, subjects from outside of biomedicine.

“Breadth subjects give you the freedom to expand your degree and explore something different. I’ve studied languages. I’ve done some sports coaching. I’m going to be taking a winter subject this year on painting techniques with the Victorian College of the Arts, at the University’s Southbank campus.”

Breadth subjects encourage students to think critically and creatively, connecting ideas from across disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach to learning offers the chance to discover new perspectives and interests, and forms a key part of the Melbourne curriculum.

It’s this balance of structure with the opportunity to explore new subjects that means Paige can work towards her career goals, while having the flexibility to shape her degree along the way. Paige has the opportunity to enter the workforce with the broad knowledge base and career-ready skills learnt in her undergraduate degree, or pursue graduate study or research.

Next semester Paige will be doing an internship with Professor Cassandra Szoeke, who works across both the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. This opportunity to work within the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct means Paige is still close to the Parkville campus while being connected to leading research and health institutions in Melbourne.

“She has an amazing lab group called the ‘Healthy Ageing Program’,” Paige says. “I met Professor Szoeke through the University’s mentoring program, and am now doing this internship, which also counts as one of my elective subjects. It’s a win-win. I’ve always wanted to do an internship, but I was always worried about how I was going to factor that into a full-subject load, plus work and life balance. I thought I would have to do it over the summer, but this structure allows me the flexibility to take on this opportunity. I feel that by going into this with an open mind, it allows me to utilise all the resources that have been put in front of me and reach my full potential.”

Being able to work within a research group like this means Paige can explore how current research is built into what she’s studying in the classroom. Studying at Australia’s largest research university provides Paige access to the latest thinking, approaches and practices in the field, all while working with recognised academics, researchers and industry experts.

Paige’s adaptability, and willingness to see challenges as opportunities has defined her university experience. By keeping an open mind and choosing to make the most of her studies, she’s well prepared for whatever comes next.

Paige has the opportunity to enter the workforce with the broad knowledge base and career-ready skills learnt in her undergraduate degree, or pursue graduate study or research.