Brettelemani Manaia

Brettelemani completed a Bachelor of Science and is now studying towards a PGDipSc in Chemistry.

Brettelemani wears a lab coat and sits in a chemistry lab. He is laughing at something off camera and holding equipment.

Practical and academic

“I’m the first in my family to go to University. I’ve always been interested in forensics and I wanted to do something practical as well as academic.

“A highlight in my Bachelor’s degree was when we did a lab project and got a taste of postgraduate life. We were supervised by academics and PhD students. My project was trying to visibly detect METH in saliva, at very low concentrations, for on-the-go analysis.”

Making connections

“In my first year I was shy and kept to myself. Since then I’ve definitely developed socially. In labs we had to work with different partners, so I got to know more people and found that I had a lot in common with my classmates. Being part of Te Rōpū Āwhina helped as well. With people to study with and talk to, everything becomes a lot easier.

“At university you definitely have to be more independent, but there are also support systems in place if you need them. You just have to ask and then everything will fall into place.”

The next step

“Forensics is the big picture. I’m all about CSI. I could see myself becoming a detective. But I’m also interested in drug development. I’d like to look at natural products that have the potential of becoming an approved drug out in the market.”

If you would like to find out more about this programme and the subjects available by visiting the Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Chemistry qualification page.