The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


22 Jan 2019

A day in the life of a Doherty Institute PhD student: Mathilde Laureti

With a new round of PhD students soon joining us, we asked current students to provide us with an insight into what studying at the Doherty Institute is like. Here, PhD student Mathilde Laureti shares experience as an international student.

My first days as a PhD student weren’t easy. Despite the warnings of my friends and family (who had never been to Australia) about the many dangers of this country - deadly snakes, spiders, sharks, crocodiles, jelly fish … and Australians - I decided to leave France and cross the world to do a PhD at the Doherty Institute. After a difficult start (being alone, homesick, having to speak a different language all day and getting used to a very different accent), Australia finally feels like home.

My daily routine at work usually starts by either checking on the well-being of my mosquitoes (in Bio21’s insectary) or setting up an experiment before going for a very necessary coffee with my colleagues and friends. After my caffeine shot, a good laugh and being made fun of for my accent a couple of times, I’m more than ready to have a productive day which either consists of feeding and analysing infected mosquitoes, or infecting various mosquito cell types.

Studying for a PhD is not always easy. Failures, deadlines and late-nights hours can be very stressful. However, whenever I need help, advice or even just someone to complain to (I’m French after all), I know I can ask for guidance from anyone around me, even if they are not from my group or floor.

In situations where I’m really struggling, I also know I can easily find someone to help me release my frustrations on the tearoom’s foosball table. Everybody needs something to release the pressure, and our very own foosball competition has become a daily must for an increasing number of people across the Doherty Institute (and not only PhD students!)

When my day is over, I either go to a boxing class (pretty efficient for stress relief as well), or to our 7th floor weekly workout with a whole bunch of my colleagues and friends. Then it’s home to have dinner and share a drink, and lab stories, with my flatmate.