Scholarship report - Meg

Megan Cook

My experience as the recipient of the Challenge science communication scholarship in Semester 1, 2014 has increased my life experience and enabled me to develop valuable skills for my future career. It has also increased my employability, helped me to excel in my studies, and provided the opportunity for me to travel Australia.

As a student within the Faculty of Science I was initially attracted to Challenge Science Communication Scholarship as I perceived a lack of scientific literacy within the community and particularly in the mainstream media. I saw the scholarship as a way to develop my skills as a science communicator, skills which will be vital to my future career and allow me to be a positive influence in the world.

The practical component of my scholarship allowed me to experience working in a professional environment as a member of the Challenge team. This helped me to further develop professional communication and time management skills, and provided me with a competitive advantage when seeking employment as a graduate.

During the scholarship I studied the online course SCIT2100, Science and Professional Communication, whilst being trained and mentored as a member of the Challenge team. In addition to working within an office setting, the scholarship gave me the opportunity to travel and assist with Challenge events across Australia. I was fortunate to be able to work in and explore areas of regional New South Wales, and spend two weeks in South Australia, Queensland and Victoria. My involvement in these events enhanced my ability to communicate with a diverse range of people from a variety of backgrounds and allowed me to develop my leadership skills, whilst simultaneously becoming a more resilient and flexible person.

As a result of my positive experience with the Challenge I plan to continue to be involved with the program for the remainder of my time at the University of Newcastle.