The winner of a student molecular design contest conceived by the UQ Molecular Biotechnology Students Club (UQ-MBioSC) is a supporter of the club's student mentoring program, as both a mentor and mentee.

Master of Biotechnology student, Mr Arvey Oliveros, won a competition overseen by the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences Coursework Students Advisory Group to capture the molecular beauty of a protein structure.

Using software to design an image of a structure from a protein database, students were invited to submit a single image of the structure, along with a caption of up to 150 words.

Arvey's image was the winning entry.  He received a movie ticket from the School and $50 cash and a certificate from UQ-MBioSC.

The Club was set up by students enrolled in the postraduate Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics programs.

One of the Club's initiatives is a free mentoring scheme for new students to help them settle in to the programs they are taking. Mentors (who are typically fellow, more senior students) can advise new students on how to go about finding a research project and supervisor. This is a no-obligation, free service.

Arvey, who came from the Philippines to start a Master of Biotechnology in first semester 2013, said the mentoring program gave him a clearer view of the opportunities available to him in the degree program.

"My mentor guided me in looking for laboratory projects and in preparing my applications to potential project supervisors," said Arvey.

"He and his co-mentors have invited us to various research presentations and reviewed our applications prior to our submission to a professor."

Arvey said the mentorship program also helps new students to learn more on the proper ways to reference assignments, provides professional networking opportunities, and improves social and communications skills as well as promoting multiculturalism.

"Being grateful to this program, I volunteered as a mentor this semester", he said.

"For me, there is no better person that a new student can talk to than a person who has been in their shoes.  Being able to help fellow students through this program made me feel more fulfilled and motivates me to become a good role model."

Ms Melinda Ashcroft, Vice-President of UQ MBio-SC, said the mentorship program is a fantastic way for students to obtain valuable information on study methods, where and how to search for information, how to find a research project and supervsior and how to network with peers and researchers.

"We also promote multiculturalism by pairing students up with mentors from different cultures and help international students adapt to life in Australia," said Melinda.

Those interested in joining the club can visit the Facebook page and send a join request.

Image: Arvey Oliveros



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