Former Miss Universe Australia, Macquarie graduate and Myer spokesperson Laura Dundović speaks to us on being a student in the limelight.
INTERVIEW Nathan Li & M.K Smith
Congratulations Laura on graduating from Bachelor of Science (Psychology)! What made you decide to study a degree in psychology?
Thank you! I’ve always loved being around people and fascinated by science and the mind. All through school I wanted to be a psychologist.
How was the learning experience at Macquarie University for you? Any highlights or memories of the campus?
I loved going to Macquarie Uni. Growing up in The Hills a lot of my friends went there and I also met a lot of new people who I am still in touch with. My highlight was Uni Games! It was so much fun!
Winning the title of Miss Universe Australia in 2008 and coming top ten in Miss Universe must’ve been an overwhelming experience for you. How has it all been for you right from joining the contest to landing in the spotlight to now?
Joining the contest was scary because it was my first beauty pageant. My modelling agent at the time said I should enter, and that Miss NSW was the following day. I had an in-class assessment that day so I went to Miss NSW, back to uni and then had the Miss NSW final that night. A week after was Miss Universe Australia and three weeks later was Miss Universe. I finished my end of semester exams two days before I left to go overseas and needed to get good marks to get into honors so it was a very stressful time! The pageant was amazing. One month overseas with 90 girls from all over the world. Since returning home I have had so many amazing experiences. I have travelled overseas and through Australia, met incredible people and learnt so much.
So you have started a successful career in modelling and presenting, why do you choose to continue your higher education?
Psychology has always interested me. Even since finishing uni I am still watching documentaries, reading and hanging out with my Psych friends. Having the degree is not only a good thing for me to have in the entertainment industry but also something that I can fall back on if I decide it’s time for a career change.
How do you find balance between studying and working – between almost conflicting commitments and different deadlines?
I found studying and working easy to balance because I enjoyed my subjects. The only part which is hard is with my job I don’t have a lot of control on dates work is scheduled on and when you are offered an opportunity it’s important to take it because you don’t know whether it will be there tomorrow. Trying to make sure I was free for my uni exams was tough but I got there!
What’s next on the plate for you? Can we expect to see you again soon in Macquarie University – if you were to continue with your honours?
Once I have a bit more time I’d love to continue studying.