Justin Menezes

Justin has been able to balance his studies in physiology with track and field athletics training thanks to supportive lecturers and coaches, and the help of scholarship awards.

Key facts

Programme: Bachelor of Science
Subject: Biomedical Science (majoring in Physiology)

“I chose to study at the University of Auckland for two reasons. Firstly, the University has many top academics who are actively researching in their fields. This excited me and drew me towards studying here, as I meant I would be able to meet, interact with, and be inspired by some of the best people in these fields in New Zealand.

 “Secondly, the University of Auckland gave me flexibility to study while continuing my athletics training. The staff have been exceptional in accommodating and helping me navigate the balance between my sports and studies, and it has subsequently made me more invested in my studies, knowing that both my lecturers and coaches want me to do well in both areas.

I chose Biomedical Science because I have always been intrigued by biology, how the body functions, and what I can do to improve people’s lives and way of living. There is an abundance of medical conditions that are still untreatable and many that only have symptomatic ‘treatments’, and I find that a Biomedical Science degree positions me in a place where I can work towards solutions to some of these problems.

Justin Menezes

“I really enjoy the exciting range of topics available to study. Also, the lecturers are all extremely passionate about their topics and are actively researching in their fields, which means we get to learn and discuss front-line findings and research before hits the press!

“Writing my first literature review, although daunting, has probably been one of my favourite assignments to date. In Biomedical Science we have plenty of weekly laboratory reports to work on, so the change to a literature review was nice! It gave me a great opportunity to really showcase to my lecturers my interests in this field and to demonstrate my ability to pull together my knowledge around topics I had personally gone out on my own to read. It was also very exciting to read some of my peers’ literature reviews, as we all chose topics that interested us.

“In my first year, I was honoured to receive one of the University of Auckland Top Achiever Scholarships, which gave me a great opportunity to stay within the Halls of Residence at the university. This scholarship helped me settle in well and catapulted me into uni life, enabling me to meet some great people from all walks of life who I have stayed in contact with.

“In my second year, I was lucky to receive one of the Faculty of Science Student Support Awards, which liberated time I would normally have had to spend working during my semester to allow me to pursue my sporting and academic passions.

“At the moment I’m still deciding where my qualification will take me. I know I can move into research (which is very compelling at the moment) but studying has opened my eyes to a world of opportunities. Currently, I am hoping to gain a postgraduate qualification before joining a research lab to hopefully be a part of the solution for many disease-affected individuals.

“I have absolutely loved my time at university. Yes, it is challenging at times, but I look back at lot of what I have done, and it reminds me that we are often capable of a lot more than we give ourselves credit for! At the same time, studying at university has inspired me and helped me better understand what I would like to do for a potential career. 

“Additionally, I’ve ended up making a whole bunch of phenomenal friends, and we are all 100% there for each other. I know that my university experience would be significantly duller without this bunch and I cannot recommend more to someone to muster up all the confidence you have to start a conversation with someone in one of your classes. Ten seconds of insane courage is all it takes and you’ll be thanking yourself for it when you have people around you who support you, enjoy being around you, and who you can celebrate and have a good time with!

“I never did join any clubs at the University; however, I have been actively training and competing in track and field athletics throughout my studies. Balancing my sports and my studies has been one of my biggest challenges at university. However, having lecturers and friends who want you to succeed has made my time here better than I could have hoped. My studies have given me a good release from the pressures of my sports while my sport has helped me cope with the stress of performing at university.”