Student Profile: An Interview with Christen…

We have some amazing students on campus, with stories that inspire and motivate us. Christen’s story is one of these. Studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology and lucky to be graduating this year!

Photo courtesy of Christen

While volunteering as a Peer Mentor, Christen shared her story with us and immediately we knew we had to feature her on the blog. She is a motivated, active student and we felt that it might encourage others to dream big and work towards their goals.

Photo courtesy of Christen

Motivation to study Zoology:

Christen has had a deep connection with animals since she was a child. She experienced bullying and would often come home to find comfort from her pets. In her words, “they were loyal and I knew they would always have my back”. So for her, animals have represented a loyalty and connection that surpasses her experience of humans. “That’s the loyalty I need… both my cat and dog do it and I bet any other animal would do that”, she said. 

Photo courtesy of Christen

Motivation to keep going

Along the way, Christen was encouraged to change her major, as there weren’t a lot of job prospects in Zoology. However, her passion to nurture indigenous animals wouldn’t listen to this. She decided to create a job for herself, and the idea of establishing and running her own wildlife sanctuary came about. This goal drives her to study, to volunteer and to network with others to help support this dream. She isn’t interested in breeding programs or zoo-style enclosures. She is keen to source indigenous animals who are injured, gain their trust whilst nursing them back to health within her sanctuary. Ultimately this would grow into an education facility where schools and community groups could visit. This means further study for Christen in education, but she is keen to ensure she has all the skills she needs to make this dream happen.

Photo courtesy of Christen

Living away from home

Although she is away from home, Christen is fortunate her grandma is close to Uni so she is living there. Even though she is with her grandma, it is still challenging. “You do feel home sick” Christen shares, “and you don’t have the space sharing a home.” She adds that being away from the family support network means, “you have to learn your own way, you have to learn very fast what you can and can’t cope with.”

Photo courtesy of Christen

What can we do:

As students, it is often difficult to see the end goal clearly. I am not suggesting we all put a set plan into place like Christen has – it is not always feasible! However, we can learn from her passion, her motivation and her active pursuit. A great first step is to volunteer in order to network in the areas we are studying in.

Careers and Employability often run career ready events, where you can learn how to develop your LinkedIn profile, engage with industry related alumni and begin to establish your pathway towards your end goal. If you don’t know what you want to do at the end of your degree, you can follow alumni on LinkedIn and look at the roles they are engaged in. You never know, they may have already worked toward your perfect job. If you are unsure where to start, book an appointment with Careers and seek their advice.