What did you study at undergraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now? Are you studying and working at the same time?
I studied a Bachelor of Engineering (honours) majoring in renewable energy and I graduated in the end of 2017. I am not studying at the moment but am working at an engineering consultancy.
What have been the most important stages of your life?
Growing up, most important part has been my family upbringing, school and experiences abroad from playing chess for my country. University was also a very important moment, especially the overseas exchange programs I was able to participate. They really opened my eyes to the world and I met so many interesting people with interesting ideas. One course I did at uni really helped define my career path which is where I am working to now.
How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and how long have you been working there?
I have recently moved to a new job through a linkedn application (Energy Engineer) for 3 just weeks.
What made you decide to progress with further study?
I did an honours degree to continue with the research component of my degree as I was interested in the fundamental aspect of solar cells. I was also keeping open the option to pursue a PhD as with an honours degree, I can skip a masters straight to PhD studies.
How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?
I was hedging my bets on renewable energy being a major future industry which is why I chose to major in this area specifically offered by the Australian National University. I was also weighing up medicine because I was not sure what to do at the time but ultimately ended up in engineering because I did not get admitted to my first preferences for medicine. I do not regret this.
What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?
I had to obtain a sufficiently high enough ATAR (99) and with the New Zealand Cambridge Examination score conversion system, I managed to get the equivalent of 99.95. This conversion was very favourable which helped me to get in. It should also be noted that due to the late release of my results (end of Jan) I was only eligible for final round offers.
What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)
I had the usual courses as everyone else but as part of my degree, there was a special research component where I could work with academics on a research project. I also usually worked part time (about a day per week) from second year onwards. I also played tennis and went to the gym on a usual day.
Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.
This study course was beneficial as my current role involves renewable energy projects. Much of the concepts around solar and wind energy I learnt is very applicable. The solar research projects I did also provide me with an in depth understanding of the fundamentals behind the renewable technologies. I can continue either as a technical professional or a generalist because of the systems engineering background in my degree.
What do you love the most about your course?
I enjoyed the research elements because it allowed me to interact with academics and explore in depth areas of my interest that would otherwise not have been available in a typical coursework structure. I also benefitted from the opportunities to study abroad and gain exposure to European energy policies and other students' perspectives.
What are the limitations of your course?
The generalist elements in my systems engineering degree sacrificed some technical depth. I did not have as much coverage in the power electrical area which is quite important to renewable energy. This is something I am making up for while I am working. The lack of industry in Canberra has also limited my internship opportunities.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.