Courtenay O'Sullivan - Disease Detective
Courtenay O’Sullivan - Senior Technician
Next Generation Sequencing
Ministry for Primary Industries
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Courtenay O’Sullivan’s job makes her sound like a science detective. She looks out for new diseases and investigates them. Working at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), it's her job to help identify exotic diseases in animals; she’s looking for illnesses we’ve never seen before in New Zealand.
"I always knew I’d do something in the science field since I was good at science and maths rather than arts subjects", Courtenay says.
“I was way too busy just being a teenager at high school and didn’t give my job prospects much thought until a careers day when a friend and I thought nursing sounded like a good idea. I did two years of that before I realised I preferred science and changed to a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.
“If I could go back I’d pay more attention in high school to thinking about what I might do for a career. Sign up to a degree in something that you enjoy and then you’ll have fun studying and likely get a decent job out of it too.”
Courtenay studied at Victoria University of Wellington. She also did a semester at the University of Texas and would have loved to have stayed longer but, “it was an expensive way to study.”
For now she’s happy getting hands on in the laboratory and putting her study to good use by searching for unknown (to us) diseases.