Graduate Profile - Rohan Etherington

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Graduate Profile - Rohan Etherington


12 May 2015

Rohan's degree set him up for a career in environmental science, where he works on ecological field surveys of flora and fauna, rehabilitation projects, seed collections and propagation and management of threatened species. Negotiating difficult terrain, he is currently working on assessing a translocation site for a threatened species in central Queensland.

Q&A with Rohan
What was the biggest change going from school to university?
"The amount of time you had to go to uni for was only 16 hours a week. It was the responsibility shift, to you being responsible for your own learning. You have to be more disciplined with yourself to sit down and study."

How did you handle the study demands?
"For me, it was pretty good. It just clicked. At school, I struggled with the approach to learning - getting questions, going home, working with the text book. At uni it makes more sense. You went to a lecture each week, followed by a tutorial and you had the option of doing Enabling Courses.

I did all the Enabling Courses in first year in biology, physics, chemistry and statistics. They amounted to extra tuition and I clearly remember the teachers were all really good. I got all High Distinctions and a Distinctions and it gave me the confidence that I could do this and I took that with me for the next few years."

What's the best thing about being a student?

"You get four years to sit there and absorb information. I've spoken to my brother who's at university now and I say to him - 'value it, because you won't get that opportunity after you finish'."

Was USC a supportive environment?
"Yes. All the lecturers had an open door policy or set times to see them. That's one of the advantages of USC. You can also go and see the Course Co-ordinator if you like and discuss your course directly and get extra assistance. On the academic side, it's really supportive and it's really supportive of people who want to learn."

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