We had the chance to catch up recently with Honours student Jarna Baudinette just before graduation. This is what she had to say about her most recent study experience.
1. What course have you just completed at USC?
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), specialising in English. My thesis was on the representation of nature in the work of Australian writer Tim Winton.
2. What made you decide to do a post-grad course?
I considered doing Honours when I completed my Bachelor of Arts in 2011, but instead I decided to take a break from study and worked in media for a few years. I enjoyed my work, but I missed the intellectual challenge of uni. I did some research, found a supervisor (Dr Clare Archer-Lean) and enrolled at USC.
3. Aside from completing the course, what were a few of the highlights from this most recent study experience?
Honours gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with your supervisor at a level that's just not possible during undergrad. You spend a lot of time discussing new ideas and working through detailed feedback. It's daunting at first, but I feel my critical thinking and writing skills improved exponentially.
4. If you know, what are your long-term career plans/goals now that you’ve finished?
I'm in the process of submitting parts of my thesis to different academic journals. After that I'll think about pursuing a higher research degree. I'd like to expand on my Honours topic to look at whether reading works about nature can influence the way people think about environmental issues.
5. Can you expand on why you’re interested in this field of work?
I've always been an avid reader, and I'm very interested in the way stories can help us understand the world around us. During undergrad I studied English and writing, which led to a career as a professional writer. While my Honours topic wasn't directly related to that, finishing my thesis has made me a much better writer, which definitely benefits my work.
6. What advice would you give to someone considering post-grad study?
Honours is a big commitment, so my advice would be to think carefully about your schedule and get yourself into a good routine early on. Most importantly, start writing your thesis as early as possible. I left mine way too late, which meant I had a very stressful few months leading up to submission!