Lauren Taylor

I am originally from Townsville and have stayed in the region because I love living here and being close to my family and friends. Throughout high school, I really enjoyed both biology and chemistry and found that the Bachelor of Science integrated classes from both of these disciplines, while still giving me the opportunity to choose my subjects. This was an excellent choice for me as I was still rather unsure of what career path I wanted to pursue. Being able to study a variety of subjects gave me a huge range of options and really let me explore my interests. Lauren Taylor stand in front of a lab.

At JCU, there is a lot of opportunity for hands-on learning and many of the science subjects integrate this into their coursework to give you heaps of experience working in a lab or out in the field. I really enjoyed all of the practical components as it gave me opportunities to use my knowledge in real time-situations and see the results of actual experiments. It also gives students the ability to use new equipment and tools — the laboratory facilities here at JCU are fantastic.

I also had many opportunities to hear from guest lecturers and researchers studying out in the field. They would come in and talk about their work in the real world and how it ties into what we were learning. In the final year of study, there are many opportunities to interact with lecturers and researchers and find out about the research that is currently being undertaken at JCU. Also, university is a great way to meet likeminded people and form friendships that will last forever.

My advice to students would be that you must be passionate about what you want to do. You can excel at anything you put your mind to, so long as you love the subject and love what you do. Also, even though you should study hard, it is very important to remember to take some time for yourself. Being mentally and physically healthy should be your number one priority. Uni can be a really good way to meet new people and socialise — use this to your advantage.

I’m most proud of my ability to keep going and continue through all of the tough moments. During the year, assignments and the looming threat of exams can be very stressful and put a lot of pressure on you. I am very proud of myself for pushing through that and really excelling in the end.

I have just begun an Honours project at JCU. I am hoping that this year of Honours will give me the skills and experience to work independently and prepare me for what is to come. After this, I would like to continue on with a PhD.

I would love to see more women in research. I hope that one day I can be at a point where I can be a good example and mentor for young women looking to make their way into the field.