Matthew - University of Auckland

B. Biotechnology
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

I studied two Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses, a Chemistry course detailing issues and challenges of the pharmaceutical industry, and a Bio-Entrepreneurship course outlining various issues factors to consider when developing a commercially viable product in the field of biotechnology/pharmaceuticals/leading edge technology.

I enjoyed the emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship displayed throughout the uni. The majority of my assessment required me to work in groups, which was sometimes a challenge as I didn't know anyone initially. However, the best way to overcome this is to just go out there and talk to people.

Personal experience

In particular, I was able to develop a clear career path for myself, which I'm very excited to continue pursuing in the coming years. Also, the opportunity to meet so many new people with quite different experiences was invaluable to me.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus. It was fantastic living in an apartment in the city centre, with restaurants and many things to do all within walking distance. For future students intending to visit Auckland on exchange, I would recommend being extremely pro-active if you intend to find accommodation off-campus, as the housing/flatting market in Auckland is extremely competitive and pricey.

Professional development and employability

Most notably, I developed my networking/social skills over the course of the exchange, which will be a vital skill to continue working on as I reach the completion of my degree. Furthermore, many of my courses required me to do a lot of reading of scientific/scholarly articles, which, while initially boring and difficult, became a significant and useful research source.

Highlight

The highlight of my experience was spending the mid-sem break in an Airbnb in the Coromandels. The Airbnb was a refurbished vintage bus, with fireplace and outdoor hot tub. My girlfriend and I explored the Coromandels and had a fantastic time.

Top tips

Definitely go ahead and do it!!! Don't look for excuses or become overwhelmed with the process. It's actually really easy and definitely, definitely worth it!!

If you're stuck with finding where it is you want to go, going somewhere where you know someone (ie friends or relatives) can make the trip a lot less daunting.