Mehtaab Singh: Planning a career in agronomy and conservation

Mehtaab Singh (Australia) says his connection to agriculture is “almost genetic.”

Both of his parents completed degrees at Punjab Agricultural University in India before moving to Australia and his mother went on to complete a PhD at the University of Melbourne, where he is now studying the Bachelor of Agriculture.

He’s explored not just the scientific processes of agriculture and sustainable management of the land, but the economics of agriculture and the challenges we face in the 21st century.

Mehtaab Singh
Mehtaab Singh has learned to balance study, his social life and health during his first year at university.

“I am really intrigued with how the global and national food supply will be able to keep up with the effects of climate change and a rising world population,” he says.

“My studies have let me combine my knowledge of the agricultural side of food production with the real-world issues around the globe, with economics playing a huge role in how food is distributed.

“It's really allowed me to connect the dots of my own degree and see how the role of agriculture from a different perspective, and further cemented my view on what my career will be.”

The breadth of subjects in the Bachelor of Agriculture opens a wide range of options for graduates. While some go on to run farms, most graduates work in a range of professional careers, including as animal nutritionists, financial advisors and agronomists, who apply plant and soil science to improve crop growth and sustainability.

“I am really interested in agronomy and conservation of land in agriculture, and making a sustainable agricultural industry here in Australia,” Mehtaab says.

“I am hoping to have a great onsite farming job and be active outdoors or doing research.”

He says there isn’t anywhere else he’d prefer to be to prepare him for this career.

“The University of Melbourne really embraces agriculture with its own research farm at Dookie, and field trips around Victoria,” he says.

“I have also really enjoyed the small cohort and new facilities in Melbourne with the opening of the Western Edge Biosciences building, which is a wonderful learning space with its own cafe.”

WEBS building
The Western Edge Biosciences Building is a $100 million life sciences teaching complex where future agricultural and medical scientists, veterinarians and doctors learn in specialised spaces.

Mehtaab says he values the commitment of teaching staff to helping students succeed.

“The teachers have formed an online group for our cohort which keeps us updated on job opportunities as well as keeping up to date with our work. They have been awesome, they really care for you and always look to assist you.”

Starting a university education is always a change, and Mehtaab says that while he didn’t think balancing work, study and health would be something he’d learn in his first year, he’s found a good momentum.

His advice to anyone starting university is to take advantages of opportunities of the university lifestyle.

“The University of Melbourne provides us with many clubs, social events and great courses to keep us entertained and always learning,” he says.

He’s now a committee member for the Melbourne University Indian Club (MUIC).

“It has really allowed me to interact with other people from other courses within the University and allow me to socialise with more people,” he says.

“The clubs of UniMelb really allow students to have fun and make connections… with time I learnt how to balance my social life with my studies and I really feel I am thriving now.”

Banner image: Mehtaab and other Bachelor of Agriculture students in the garden terrace of the Western Edge Biosciences (WEBS) building.