Ever since I was in high school, I have had an interest in technology and its potential to greatly impact lives all over the world. When it came time to decide what I wanted to study at university, I was excited that there was a chance for me to be a part of future technologies that create impact.
I had a little programming hobby during my high school days and got to learn Information Technology in my senior years. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduating university – there are a lot of options nowadays such as getting a job, pursuing entrepreneurship, or studying more and doing research. One thing I knew though was that gaining skills in technology would be useful no matter which path I choose.
At the start of Year 12 I started looking for courses on different university websites whilst also deciding where I wanted to study. I really enjoyed living in Brisbane, but I was open to studying in other major cities around Australia. In my research I found that Brisbane has a growing entrepreneurial and technological scene with new opportunities constantly arising. I decided to stay in Brisbane, which helped me narrow my search to a few reputable Queensland universities.
When the time came to attend the QUT Open Day, I fell in love with the QUT campus – it’s a very modern place that gave a feel of having a social and vibrant culture. I have a strong interest in leadership and self-development, so I was excited to find out about QUT’s Leadership, Development and Innovation program. I felt that QUT offered more than just a degree – QUT provided the opportunities to connect with industry and to develop myself in many different ways.
I am now in my first year of studying Bachelor of Information Technology at the Gardens Point campus. The campus is great, and I also get this beautiful view of Brisbane City on my way to university.
In my first year at QUT my experience has been filled with a lot of highs, lows and growth. Before starting my first week, I went to O Week, during which I became familiar with the campus and lifestyle of QUT, attended workshops on how to cope with university life, and I met a lot of new people and made some good friends. Having attended O-week, I was really confident going into my first week of university.
Lectures and tutorials kicked off immediately. I found that our lecturers and tutors always promote discussions about the things we know and are learning, suggest new ways of thinking, and help us to solve problems and reach answers on our own. I’ve come to highly value the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that I developed from this. One of my favourite things have been the amount of teamwork I got to experience this year. In all my units, I have had at least one project that involved working with a group. I am normally dependent on my own skills to complete tasks for my studies, but the necessity of group work opened me to being curious about how a team dynamic would work with projects that I would otherwise have pursued by myself. It was fun and challenging. I got to learn about my strengths and weaknesses in group situations. Teamwork is an ongoing thing for me to learn and improve on (and a big part of working in the industry), which makes me glad that QUT introduced me to it from the very beginning.
One of my ways to spend my time is to volunteer at QUT. QUT Connect is a large community of students at QUT who take part in volunteering opportunities all year-round. I joined Connect in my second semester, and as part of it I’ve given presentations to new university students, helped run O-week activities, and promoted cancer research. It’s really rewarding to give back to the community while also gaining experience.
Through QUT Connect and the Leadership, Development, and Innovation program I’ve met a lot of like-minded people, and getting to know them has been very rewarding. Although this was the avenue where I found my group of friends, the wide range of clubs and events at QUT will provide many opportunities for you to make friends and connections with a lot of different people.
I used to rely a lot on myself to do everything, and now I’m learning how valuable external support can be, for any area of my life (coursework, career, QUT, life). This is because of the amount of support I get at QUT. It is easy to approach the lecturers and tutors. They fully understand that you are still learning, and so they care that you’re confident in understanding their teaching. It is really easy to get in touch with them; if not in class, we can email queries and get a response fairly quickly. There are many forms of help available at QUT that I’ve used throughout the year – peer mentors, International Student Services and medical services. I feel QUT tries a great deal to look out for our wellbeing.
Everybody gets to create their own journey at university. I’m excited to finish my first year at QUT soon, but I also look forward to making the most of my time next year and see where QUT’s opportunities take me.