Tarik chose to study a Master of Education at Melbourne Graduate School of Education as it allows him to blend his background in veterinary and agricultural sciences with his passion for teaching. Tarik is also very active in the volunteer and mentoring space and is an MGSE Student Ambassador for the Master of Education in the Education Ambassador Program, and a Student Peer Mentor in the MGSE Peer Mentoring Program. In 2020, Tarik was also a runner up in the 'Victorian Student of the Year – Internationalisation' category at the Victorian International Education Awards.
Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Animal and Veterinary Science with full honors at La Trobe University, where I also was a part of the sheep endocrinology research team. During my time at La Trobe, I was part of ‘In2Science’ (a school program mentoring in STEM), winning the most dedicated mentor award. This is where my education passion and flare started alongside with starting a registered NGO, ‘Tools4Schools’, which looked at donating good used tertiary equipment to low socioeconomic schools.
Q: Are you studying full time or part time? Do you have any other commitments outside of your studies?
I’m currently studying full time at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE). I’m also working as an academic at Ormond College teaching various agricultural subjects such as Agricultural Biochemistry, Livestock Management and Soil Science.
My commitments outside of my studies include volunteering in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program as a kitchen instructor to primary school children twice a week. I also sit on the board of a registered NGO ‘Play Without, Boundaries’ (PWB), which looks at helping disadvantaged children across former Yugoslavia and the Balkans.
Q: Why did you choose to study your main study program?
I choose the Master of Education because I didn’t just want to be a teacher – I wanted to be an educator. The Master of Education has allowed me to slowly blend my veterinary and agriculture world with my passion for teaching at tertiary level.
Q: What are your majors/specialisations?
I am majoring in Science Education and Research, with a thesis titled ‘A study on informal STEM learning settings and the student experience: To what extent do informal STEM settings impact on students’ experience in Australian classroom’.
Q: Why did you choose to study at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
In my opinion, the University of Melbourne and the MGSE are the best education institutes in the country, alongside having great alumni and staff connections.
Q: Please can you detail your experience of studying your degree/specialisation at Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
My experience thus far within the Master of Education has been very specific and I have been given the freedom to tailor the course to my interests (sciences and research, with some dipping into educational policy). This tailor-made course is something that really appealed to me and has made my experience very unique. The fact that the course and the subjects offer so many extracurricular activities and opportunities is also something that I have enjoyed very much.
Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before studying at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
I would have liked to have known about all of the volunteer activities and opportunities to engage with at the MGSE so I could have done more!
Q: Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
I am an MGSE Student Ambassador for the Master of Education, a Student Peer Mentor both in-person and online, and a volunteer in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College, which I found through the MGSE.
Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?
I am currently looking for full-time employment within the education field and ideally the chance to further blend my agricultural and veterinary teaching with education and or educational research. At this stage, nothing is off the table with PhD prospects also in the near future!
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to study at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
I would advise them to follow their dreams and aspirations, even if they are not sure of what they want to study, the main thing is to start on a path of interest and support will always be given at the University of Melbourne to those who ask for it.
Q: Can you share something interesting about yourself?
Something interesting about me is that I have a photographic memory. I also speak five languages.