Hard work and gratitude have been the keys to success for La Trobe University Pharmacy student Gai Porh Soe.

The 23-year-old BSSC Alumni (Class of 2015) is studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours and today spoke to 25 current BSSC students about her pathway into the course and the doors it has opened.

Gai Porh comes from a refugee background and English is her second language. She has worked hard and seized every opportunity to succeed in her chosen course.

“University is one of the best things I’ve done in my life,” she said. “I really appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given and want other students to make the most of every opportunity too.”

Gai Porh says there are many ways to get to where you want to be and describes it as being like a house.

“There are lots of doors to get in, and then other doors to get where you want to go,” she said. “If one door is closed then try another one… never give up.”

She encouraged BSSC students to make the most of all the support offered at the college by teachers, MIPs and careers.

“I had no idea how many different jobs there are in Australia and how many courses there are until I started uni,” Gai Porh said. “Do lots of research and ask lots of questions to find where you fit… there is something for everyone.”

While Gai Porh can’t even remember her ATAR score anymore, she says the most important thing she took away from BSSC was good study habits.

Uni is as hard as Year 12 but not as stressful,” she said. “It’s really important to put good study habits into place as soon as you start first year. Don’t party too hard or slack off at the start or you’ll get behind and it could be hard to catch up. No one wants to do a whole subject again.”

Apart from the work, however, Gai Porh says that La Trobe University Bendigo has been a great place to make friends.

“Get a study group so you have lots of support and people to talk to,” she suggested. “Get reminders of when things are due and, most of all, stay calm.”