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Student Jett Ho poses in front of the USYD logo
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Jett Ho

Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours)
Jett is a science student currently undertaking his honours year at our Westmead campus. He shares with us his study journey, the appeal of student life and the value of doing a research project.
Student Jett Ho with Sydney Harbour in the background

What is your study journey?

Finding out about how the world around me works has been something I have been exploring for a long time.

From a young age, science has always fascinated me, and I can remember asking my father about everything and anything from how clouds formed and why we have seasons to what happens to our food from when we eat it till when it comes out the other side!

In high school, science was my favourite subject so much so that I took chemistry, biology and physics in Year 12. As I thought about what I wanted to do at university and later on in life, I knew it had to be something that involved applying my love and curiosity for science.

Studying at the University of Sydney gave me the opportunity to learn from world-class professors who inspired me to give research a go.

Undertaking honours in Applied Medical Science at Westmead married two experiences in one: getting a real experience of research science to see if it was something for me as well as adding value to the medical field before beginning postgraduate training.

Why Sydney?

Being a prospective university student leaving high school is tough. There are so many options to choose from and they seem to grow each year. What stood out for me about Sydney University, though, were the vast array of opportunities – academic, social and developmental – on offer for students.

Sydney Uni’s science faculty gives students access to professors who are leaders in their fields, proximity to high-impact research and learning facilities which are second-to-none. Also, with over 200 clubs and societies, there are almost endless opportunities to get involved, try things I normally wouldn’t and meet new people.

What’s more, the option to take my studies on exchange to a foreign country and engage in a new culture was a very appealing opportunity to me on offer at USYD.

What has been the best aspect of your time at Sydney so far?

My time spent at Sydney has been filled with too many unique, weird and wonderful experiences to name completely. However, the unifying aspect of studying here that has been the best so far is learning alongside my diverse cohort of peers.

People studying here, not only in science but all the other faculties on campus, come from many different backgrounds. Whether it is in the tutorial room, on the court or at a café, I believe that I have learnt as much, if not more, from my peers as I have from my textbook.

Additional to the academic rigour, teaching quality and learning amenities available to me, it has been the personal growth and development in learning alongside my friends that has enriched my experience at Sydney.

Sydney Uni’s science faculty gives students access to professors who are leaders in their fields, proximity to high-impact research and learning facilities which are second-to-none.
Student Jett Ho conducting research in the lab

What is it like undertaking Honours at Westmead?

At Westmead, I’m currently undertaking my honours research year in the Applied Medical Science Honours program.

This involves exploring a project on a topic of interest within an active medical research lab for the entire year. In the first few weeks of the year, there was an intensive coursework period delivered to introduce research techniques and writing. This ensured that all the basics were covered and out of the way so we could focus on our research project for the rest of the year.

My project is looking at a unique and more effective way to deliver gene therapies that treat heart failure. I’m working at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, which is part of the greater Westmead Health Precinct that combines cutting-edge research facilities with medical clinics.

It is a challenging undertaking but just as equally exciting and rewarding to be a part of an active research lab doing real science!

What was it about the Westmead units that was unique?

Conducting a research project for honours at Westmead is a unique experience from undergraduate coursework and this, I suppose, is by virtue of its design by professors who are actively participating in research themselves. 

For example, the intensive coursework period at the start of the year is a feature not found in many other honours programs. Also, working in an environment known for excellence in medical research, training and treatment creates a sense of being part of something greater.

The most important characteristic unique to Westmead for me, however, is the unparalleled time, care and support that the supervisors and coordinators give to students throughout the honours experience.

Since day 0 when I came in for my many interviews, everyone made me feel welcomed and valued in a community into which I initially felt I was intruding. To undertake a year where I would be are spending a lot of time with a handful of people, I wanted to be sure I got along with them.

At Westmead, they were very easy to find. In fact, the hardest part was choosing to which project and research group I would eventually belong.

It is a challenging undertaking but just as equally exciting and rewarding to be a part of an active research lab doing real science!

Who would the Westmead units most appeal to?

Studying at Westmead offers students a chance to step into an environment of excellence in health and medical research. It is a place where uncovering the truth is not just an ideal, but a goal with each step carefully mapped out to achieve it.

If you are curious to see what it is like to work at the cutting-edge of research science in an environment where you will be challenged yet nurtured to be your best or if you are set on a life in research and want to jumpstart your career, I ask that you strongly consider Westmead!

What do you hope to do upon graduating? What career do you hope to pursue?

Upon graduation, I hope to move into further postgraduate studies in pursuit of a career in medicine.

My honours research experience at Westmead has taught me a lot and inspired me to make research a part of my career after graduating. I learned to appreciate just what is involved in and required for success in research as my project developed while the clinicians, researchers and the work produced by the labs have all inspired my aspirations along the way.

It is these learnings and experiences that I hope to build upon in and beyond medical school into a lifelong career serving local and broader communities as a clinician and researcher.