Too Many Options!? A guide to helping choose your specialisation

Its come to that time of the year for first years, picking specialisations…..

With UoA offering 10 different engineering specialisations to choose from, the idea of even thinking about what to pick can be daunting.  I’m hoping to make the process a little bit easier for you guys, or it not at least a little bit less scary. So grab a notepad and be ready to make some lists.

My first tip would be process of elimination, start out by crossing out the things you wouldn’t even consider. Think through the first year papers and mentally note which ones you didn’t enjoy (this was ELECTENG 101 for me, never again.) Now try to think less about the lecturer, because yes, sometimes we all get bad lectures, and focus on the actual content. So don’t get me wrong I loved Will and his jokes, but using superposition to solve circuits just wasn’t my cup of tea.

My second tip, keep an open mind. Funny story, going into engineering I actually said out loud to my parents ‘if I don’t get into biomedical engineering I will change my degree’. Now comes the time we do the pre-req papers for biomed, what happened, I absolutely hated it. This leads to my point, be open to your ideas changing, what you thought before might not necessarily be the best option for you now, and thats okay!

My third tip, think about what you actually enjoy. Kind of corny, yes, but it’s true. Out of all the options which do you actually enjoy, maybe it even puts a small smile on your face when you finally work out how to solve that complicated question.

My last tip and potentially the one I’d stress the most is, reach out and talk to people. Reaching out to students who have been in your shoes before and understand the decision has to be one of the most helpful tools, because older students will tell you how it is. They can tell you their experience in the course. So if you’re juggling 2 or 3 or even 4 options reach out to someone from each specialisation and have a chat to them, what they liked, what they didn’t, to get real insight into what that specialisation is like.

Now my final words. You are not locking yourself into this for the rest of your life so don’t let it stress you out!! I know people that have changed specialisations already from the one they initially chose after first year, its totally doable. So if you make a choice and later on you realise you’re not enjoying it, thats okay!! Remember if you hadn’t tried it how were you going to know that you didn’t like it, thats how we learn!

ps. if you want to find out more about structural, please feel free to reach out.  -Izzy 🙂

@izzycattermole on fb and instagram



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