Yeppoon student awarded scholarship to study in Hong Kong
JACOB Cookson has not been idle since graduating from St Brendan's College in 2015.
The Yeppoon student Jacob Cookson is studying dual degree, a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Laws at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
"My whole time at St Brendan's College I wanted to be a doctor and wanted to practice medicine: I always worked in a pharmacy part-time and when I got to the end of Grade 12, I had to make a decision about what I wanted to study,” Mr Cookson said.
"Given how competitive medicine would be and given I was 17, I planned to use biomedical science to get into medicine, with law as a back-up,” he said.
"Even coming into my degree, I always thought I would study medicine, but as my degree has played out, I still have a love for medicine and health, but have also realised I prefer law.”
Finding some rare spare time out his busy study schedule, Jacob is the President of the Bond University Law Students' Association, and the Secretary of the Bond University Student Association.
He is also currently planning a stint overseas after applying and receiving the New Colombo Plan Scholarship to study in Hong Kong and the Indo-Pacific region in 2019.
"In 2016, just after I started university, I joined a team going over to Nepal, for an aid program in a rural community impacted by the earthquake in 2015,” he said.
"I was fresh out of high school, we were the first team to go over, and it was a big eye-opening experience.
"I'd been overseas a couple of times, but nothing like Nepal, and because I loved that trip; I was chosen as the convenor and oversaw the 2018 program taking 16 people over there.
"I've got a real interest in international arbitration law and as part of my involvement with the law faculty I also engaged in an international mooting competition where we worked on a moot for six months and travelled to Hong Kong.
"The New Colombo program gives me long-term exposure to new cultures and with the Indo-Pacific region growing so quickly, to get that exposure to the legal industry in that area will be so interesting.”
For Jacob, his involvement in community service while at St Brendan's College started a journey of service that has continued in Australia, and overseas with his aid work in Nepal.
"At school I was involved as much as I could; with Eddies Rice camp, I was always going to Eddies Van, in Year 12 I won an award for community service, I was in Youth Parliament in high school representing Keppel and I did a few leadership camps,” he said.
"I think St Brendan's supports that culture of service leadership and I've definitely seen that go beyond my time at school.”
"I owe much of what I've achieved to growing up in Yeppoon and going to St Brendan's.
"The teachers were super supportive of everything we did; every teacher supported me on my journey of what I wanted to do, our science faculty particularly.”
Jacob's pipedream down the track is to intern in Paris, London, Canada or New York.
"I did a bit of travel as a kid with my parents to Thailand; in Grade 11 I received a scholarship to go to New Zealand on a music tour and in Grade 12 I won the Premier's ANZAC Prize to go to Turkey, Belgium and France for ANZAC Day,” he said.
"I love to travel, I love seeing different cultures, but for me travelling with a purpose is what I love; to engage authentically in a culture is really interesting, rather than just as a tourist.”
"The reality is that in 2021 when I come back to Australia, I'll be working in a graduate law position, so for me I'm trying to get as much world experience before I settle into a job and work full-time.”