For Oliver Johnson, the pathway to his dream career started with a childhood love for building things and making them work. This creative and inquisitive trait is still alive today as he undertakes a flexible double degree by combining the Bachelor of Engineering (Research & Development) with a Bachelor of Science.
Oliver, who originally hails from Hobart, has made the most of ANU programs to internationalise his student experience.
“There are so many opportunities for students to travel overseas for exchange, short courses or internships. The six months I spent on exchange at ETH Zurich in Switzerland were the most rewarding of my life. I’ve also been lucky enough to complete summer courses at Peking University and the University of Copenhagen. I also spent 2 months working in a biomedical optics lab at Harvard Medical School. I think that studying overseas and being immersed in different cultures and ways of learning has contributed greatly to my academic development,” Oliver highlights.
As well as broadening his horizons geographically and culturally, Oliver has taken advantage of local opportunities to connect with global industry leaders.
“I worked at Cochlear over the summer last year. It was great to see the workings of the company within the highly regulated medical devices industry. I also found that the systems engineering knowledge I had learnt at ANU to be very useful, since Cochlear is so interdisciplinary.”
Although Oliver has enjoyed experiencing some of the world’s larger institutions, he has also appreciated the unique nature of study at ANU.
“The lecturers are approachable because of the smaller class sizes and while many are really busy, they are still really interested in listening to and helping students.”
It is this balance of support, collegiality, and range of opportunities that makes Oliver happy with his decision to attend ANU.
“If you want the most exciting university experience, then ANU delivers. I think ANU has the best combination of student culture, on-campus accommodation, world-leading research and wonderful teachers and professors.”
More than just enjoying his time as a student, Oliver is also confident that he is developing his skills for the future.
“Working on research projects throughout my degree has really enabled me to develop independent research skills allowing me to tackle problems on my own and I found the research and development skillset particularly useful when I worked at Cochlear. Particularly as Cochlear has large parts of its business devoted to research and development, I found that the skills I’m learning within my degree really helped.”
After he graduates Oliver aims to build a career in the biomedical engineering industry.
“Biomedical engineering is a field which is involves combining knowledge and experience from a lot of different areas, and I think the broad areas which I have been able to study as part of my ANU flexible double engineering/science degree, such as electronics/communications, systems engineering, research and development, mathematics and physics will enable me to succeed in this field.”
Oliver’s advice to anyone thinking about studying at ANU is to take the chance.
“Initially I was worried about moving to Canberra. But I didn’t need to worry as through living on campus and being at ANU, within some of the first few weeks of university I met some of my best friends in Canberra. ANU has a really high proportion of students who move away from home to study here, so you’re not alone.”
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