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Hajrah hopes to take her laboratory skills to remote NT

This article appears in: High school to uni, Science
Medical Laboratory Science student Hajrah in the lab at Casuarina campus

Darwin local Hajrah knew she would study at CDU once she finished Year 12, but the specifics took a little longer to figure out. Wanting to stay close to her family and Darwin’s multicultural community, she now has big dreams to use her new-found skills for the benefit of vulnerable communities in the Territory.

“I always wanted to study at Charles Darwin University for a healthcare-related course,” she says.

Hajrah started looking into the Bachelor of Science as many of her friends recommended the course to her.

“Surprisingly, a distant friend who was studying at CDU talked about the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science. It did not take me more than a minute to modify my preferences on SATAC!”

Transitioning to uni

Though she went to a local high school in Darwin, heading to university is a big transition for anyone.

“Life is no longer about having a set of classmates going to every class with you,” she says. “It requires making new connections with people from different backgrounds.”

Without the supervision experienced in high school, Hajrah had to adjust to creating her own study timelines to get assessments done on time as there was no teacher to give constant reminders.

“Take ownership of your studies. Nobody will chase after you to complete your assessments,” she advises future uni students.

Give time to yourself to adjust in a new environment and take little steps towards improvement.

She also had to figure out how to balance the competing demands of study with all the other aspects of her life.

“Allocation of time dedicated to my studies, work, volunteering and family is very important to me because I want to excel in all these aspects.”

And Hajrah certainly has a full schedule as the secretary for the NT Youth Round Table, a member of CDU's Student Ambassador Program, an allied health representative for the Students Association for Rural and Remote Health, and a project assistant for United Muslims of the Northern Territory. 

“Ensuring I am organised on a weekly basis is very important," she says.

"I make weekly schedules for my studies and also ensure I spend time with my family in the evening.”

Laboratory life

Medical Laboratory Science student Hajrah in the lab at Casuarina campus

Now halfway through her Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (alongside a second full-time degree, a Bachelor of Islamic Studies at CSU), Hajrah is excited about graduating and providing her expertise to more vulnerable communities in the Northern Territory.

Until then, there are placements in rural and remote regions where she can get a glimpse of her future career.

Day to day, Hajrah loves listening to her lectures from the comfort of home and building on the subjects she enjoyed in high school, like human biology.

The practical experience has been a particular highlight, with weekly sessions in the laboratory to understand the content taught during lectures.

Most importantly, her degree is preparing her to be a force for good once she graduates. 

“My career goal is to work as a medical scientist at the Royal Darwin Hospital or Katherine Hospital," she says.

My CDU student experience and the hands-on experience will assist me to feel confident in my selected field and make a positive impact in the NT, especially in the rural and remote regions.

Hajrah hopes to work for a few years and then head back to uni as a postgraduate student. Whether it’s further studies in Medical Laboratory Science, a PhD in cancer therapy or stem cells, a medical degree or even a teaching degree, the Territory is lucky to have her scientific mind and her passion for protecting vulnerable communities. 

Got big dreams of becoming a scientist? Explore Medical Laboratory Science and other science courses at Charles Darwin University. 

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