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A graduate with their hands in the air

Are you living your childhood dream?

UQ people
Published 1 May, 2024  ·  6-minute read

Whether it was flying in a rocket, digging up dinosaur bones or winning an Oscar, we all had big dreams as children. But how many of those dreams came true?

We spoke to current students at The University of Queensland (UQ) to see just how close they're getting to their childhood goals.

As a student at UQ, you have access to world-class educators, endless extracurricular opportunities and a safe and welcoming learning environment – which can all help turn your aspirations into a meaningful career.

Ai Xin is from Malaysia and is a recent graduate from UQ’s Bachelor of Biomedical Science. She’s well on the way to realising her childhood dream of a career in medicine.

Anna Xu, from China, is currently a PhD candidate at UQ, majoring in renewable energy.

A graduate with their hands in the air

Childhood dreams

Ai Xin says her childhood dream was to become a doctor.

“As a child, I envisioned a future where I could directly impact lives. The idea of being a doctor – someone who could diagnose, treat and bring comfort to those in need – kind of ignited a passion within me,” she says.

“I think that's because when I was a child, I was fascinated with the human body and wanted to contribute to the wellbeing of others.”

Anna tells us that her childhood dream was to become a teacher, as she has always been motivated to provide guidance and knowledge to others.

She is currently completing a PhD and eventually hopes to use her qualifications to teach others about the field of renewable energy.

The University of Queensland impact

Ai Xin says she was lucky enough to visit Australia while growing up. So, once she completed her schooling, she was excited to be offered a scholarship to UQ.

“My ultimate goal is to become a doctor. That's why I chose biomedical science as my bachelor's degree.”

Through her degree, she not only learned the foundations of medicine, but also took part in many other aspects of university life. She was sponsorship director of the Malaysian Students’ Association and played with the UQ basketball team. 

“These activities really helped me develop my communication and teamwork skills,” she says.

2 girls playing basketball at UQ

Anna adds that studying at UQ helped her stay focused on her career goals by being surrounded by classmates and teachers who shared a common objective.

“I enjoyed being on campus because I believe that working in a school environment helped keep me [young at heart],” she says.

“I enjoyed the discussions on research topics with my supervisors and fellows.”

UQ also provides student support, including career counselling, and offers the chance to network, socialise and develop skills outside the classroom through clubs, societies and events.

Ai Xin standing next to an Alpaca

Broadening horizons

We asked both Ai Xin and Anna how UQ has helped them get closer to their childhood dreams.

Although Ai Xin still maintains her goal of passing the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) to eventually become a doctor, she is now open to pursuing a career in medical research, thanks to participating in a summer research program at UQ.

“I was involved in the UQ summer research scholar program twice. That's when I noticed that biomedical science is not just to get into medicine – there are other aspects [too],” she says.

“Research is really broad, and a lot of things are still quite new and unknown. So, I think the experience from the UQ summer research program sparked my interest to consider a possible career in research in the future.”

Anna says her childhood dream of being a teacher is now aligned with an aspiration to make meaningful contributions to her chosen research field.

Anna standing from side the looking at the camera

“In terms of my career plan, my primary preference is to remain within the academic sphere to pursue further research,” she says.

“If I am fortunate enough, I aspire to secure a teaching role, seek project funding to bolster my extensive research, and acquaint more UQ students with my field of study.”

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