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From the Philippines to Bond: Discovering a career in research

Being a Bondy means that you are a part of a tightknit community with a strong support network, and can rely on the people around you to help you chase your ambitions. Our aim is to create an environment where you feel inspired and confident to ignite the very best version of yourself; a place where you will never be thought of as just another number, but rather, will have abundant opportunities to stand out. Simply put, we exist for you – to give you the right tools, support, and empowerment to take your life and career in whichever direction you choose.

Neil Josen Delos Reyes has been a Bondy for quite some time now, having completed his undergraduate degree at Bond before progressing into his master’s, with further research-based studies on the horizon. We caught up with Neil to find out more about the impact Bond has had on him over the years, both professionally and personally, and to learn more about how our individualised approach is enabling his future goals. 

Who are you and what are you currently studying?  

My name is Neil Josen Delos Reyes, I’m a Filipino international student studying a Master of Science by Research (Health Sciences). My research focus is on organic synthesis and developing a method to synthesise a library of novel rhodamines for bioimaging. Rhodamines are a class of fluorescent dyes that have been useful as a biotag for cellular imaging studies. Essentially, these molecules are like sticky notes that can be attached to cell structures. These sticky notes can then be tracked wherever they end up, in or out of the tagged cell. I am progressing well with my research so far, and hope to continue it into a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program.  

Before I started my master’s, I completed the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, also at Bond, and majored in Laboratory / Research. Seeing how my research has progressed so far, and having developed so many key skills, I’m excited to continue learning at Bond over the next few years.  

What has Bond’s personalised approach to learning been like for you?

One of the main reasons I chose to study at Bond was because of the University’s commitment to providing small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios. I was drawn to the idea of receiving personalised attention during my undergraduate studies, and this certainly proved to be true. In fact, I was once enrolled in a class with only five other students! Class sizes like these mean I always have the chance to ask my educators questions I have about the course content. Beyond the ongoing academic support I’ve received, Bond’s intimate classes have also allowed me to network with academics who are now my research colleagues in my role as an Assistant Teaching Fellow at Bond. 

Neil Delos Reyes in the Health Sciences & Medicine building.

What’s your favourite part about Bond’s student experience?

My favourite part about Bond’s student experience has been the internship opportunities provided through the Career Development Centre (CDC). I reached out to the CDC in the final year of my undergraduate degree seeking some practical experience, and they were able to connect me with an industry partner and help me to secure my first internship. In preparation for the job hunt, the CDC also supported me with writing a resume and cover letter, and we worked together to refine my interview skills by practising interview questions and discussing how to make a lasting impression in an interview.

My first internship was at the Gold Coast University Hospital, working in the Mental Health and Specialist Services department. As a research intern, I participated in numerous qualitative research projects, helped with literature and integrative reviews (which have since been published with my name printed as one of the co-authors!), and created and designed databases. This experience then led to presenting my research at the 2020 Research, Quality and Innovation Week at the Gold Coast University Hospital.  

My second internship was at ScienTEST Analytical Services, working as a laboratory intern. In this role, I learned how to operate, maintain and calibrate some of the basic tools ScienTEST used for testing the physical properties of the complementary and veterinary samples they received. At the end of my internship with ScienTEST, I was offered a casual paid position as a laboratory assistant technician. All in all, the opportunities I received with the help of Bond’s CDC were invaluable and provided great experience for both my research studies and my future career.  

What’s one thing that wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t gone to Bond?

If I hadn’t gone to Bond, I don’t think my postgraduate studies would’ve been possible, nor do I think I would have been afforded the same career opportunities. I say this because I’ve always been supported above all by the Bond community. It was actually one of my undergraduate teachers who encouraged me to continue with a master’s program, and even offered me casual teaching opportunities as an Assistant Teaching Fellow. I also volunteered as a Bond Student Ambassador during my bachelor’s degree, and am now working as a Future Student Liaison, helping prospective students and families figure out if Bond is the right fit for them. Each of these opportunities has been unique and added value to my time at university. 

Neil Delos Reyes standing outside Health Sciences & Medicine building.

How do you think Bond will help you secure your dream job?

Bond will support my future career by continuing to offer the same educational, professional and personal support I’ve always received as a student. Studying at Bond has enhanced my academic, social and professional development and opened countless doors. In particular, the Beyond Bond program has encouraged me to make the  most of my time at Bond by seeking professional growth and work experience. Bond’s industry connections have helped expand my skillsbeyond the classroom, and it’s comforting to know that even after I graduate,  I can still access the CDC for lifelong career support.  

If you could describe Bond using one word, what would it be?

If I could describe Bond using one word, it would be ‘supportive’. Bond University’s commitment to providing a personalised learning experience has made me confident that I’ll receive all the support needed to launch my career in research. Beyond academic support, Bond’s holistic approach to education, offers international, industry, social, sporting, psychological, disability, and health and wellbeing support services and opportunities, which are available for all students throughout their studies. 

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