Engineering offers a wide amount of opportunities. These opportunities, although present, do require you to take the initiative. Unsubsidised, moving into 2024, UoA engineering uni fees will be amounting to $53k per annum 😱… Not to be pessimistic, but that money is going somewhere, and if you don’t seize the opportunities available to you, it won’t be going to you 😥. I won’t lie, the previous line was a bit of a red herring, but the message still stands! Whether that be through participating in club activities & exec roles, opening more doors through a conjoint, or going on an exchange, let’s discuss opportunities!
If you’ve wandered around the Club’s Expo at the beginning of the year, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of Software relevant clubs. I’ve listed a couple below, but there’s a lot more! Throughout the year, many will hold various meet & greets, competitions, as well as hackathons. I highly recommend making an effort to participate in at least one of these events. That said, don’t limit yourself to exclusively STEM clubs, join what you find interesting!
I must admit, I was always hesitant to do a conjoint, as I could always list out many cons. However, deep down, I knew that if I were to regret it, returning to uni solely for a maths degree isn’t something I would be inclined to do. So last year, I submitted my application – and so far, I haven’t regretted it. While I can’t speak as an official council for conjoints, I’d like to share some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while making this decision:
|Why you should||Why you shouldn’t|
|(1) It can be a lot of fun!|
If your conjoint is something you truly enjoy, it can be a nice breath of fresh air amidst your engineering work. You get to meet a lot more people from other faculties, and in general, it can be a grand time. Personally, I’m really enjoying it 😊.
(2) Balancing Interests
In an earlier post, I mentioned I wanted elements of EngSci in my degree. Both Data Analysis, and Operations Research intrigue me heavily – however, I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to be my career focus. Furthermore, I’ve always had a curiosity for Pure Maths. Doing a BSc, allows me to tap into both, giving me a bit more variety in my degree. Furthermore, it opens a few doors for postgrad.
(3) Conjoint > 2 degrees
A conjoint degree is more cost-effective compared to pursuing 2 degrees separately.
|(1) Financial Burdens|
One thing that can’t be denied is that it’s an added cost. Although a conjoint is more cost-effective than doing 2 degrees separately, it will increase your student loan by a substantial amount. Furthermore, you’ll also be foregoing a year’s worth of potential salary.
(2) Losing Electives
Depending on your conjoint, you’ll lose out on a couple electives. The weight of this will vary from person to person, however, partially why I chose to do Maths under a BSc rather than a BA was to ensure I could include the equivalent COMPSCI papers that I would have otherwise missed out on.
(3) Five Courses per Semester
With a conjoint, comes an additional workload. It can be a lot more difficult, and you may find yourself a bit behind your peers, but it is manageable. I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to work that many hours every week, but long commute times + work + cooking + uni can be quite a lot to juggle.
(4) Late Graduation
Unless you’ve been doing uni courses in high school, you’ll likely graduate a year behind your engineering cohort.
When it comes to conjoint degrees, my friendly advice is to do what feels best for you. Don’t choose to do a conjoint simply for the sake of job prospects. Instead, opt for one that genuinely excites you or aligns with your future goals. As cheesy as it is, follow your heart and pursue what brings you joy – conjoint or not 😊.
Exchanges, although not as popular in recent years due to the pandemic, are still a valuable opportunity for growth and exploration. They offer a chance to expand your knowledge in Software Engineering and discover more about yourself.
At UoA, exchanges are facilitated through 360 International, allowing you to pay domestic fees. As such, the biggest burden for most will come from accommodation. However, various scholarships are available, which can help subsidise the cost immensely.
A wide variety of exchange destinations are available, where priority is usually given to higher GPAs. Exchange partners and fact sheets pertaining to costs and course availability has been linked below:
With that said, it can be quite challenging for Software Engineering students to pursue an exchange. Overseas, Computer Science courses are often in high demand, and local students will receive priority. However, if you can find equivalent core courses, the rest is quite flexible.
The general process for planning an exchange is linked on the following page, however here’s a brief outline:
- Apply for a Nomination Offer: This will be done on the Via portal. You’ll be required to submit a statement of intent, as well as showcase you’ve started to form an academic plan should you get an offer. It is suggested that you look into multiple universities, however, it is possible to only choose one.
- Apply to Host University: Upon securing a nomination offer, it means the university you have selected has expressed interest in your application. Subsequently, you will proceed with the official application procedure by accessing the respective university’s portal. Here, you will apply to be a student, and if available, arrange for accommodation.
- Prepare Course Approvals: Following, you’ll need to compile a document showcasing the equivalency of the courses offered by the university you’ve applied to. This document will require official approval.
- Prepare for Departure: Once all the above has been done, all that remains is travel-related matters.
You can undergo an exchange in semester two of Part II, or in either semester during Part III, however, regarding the latter, it is recommended that you go in semester one, as courses in semester two can be quite difficult to find overseas. An additional document will be made available to you next year clarifying the specificities for exchanging if this is something you are seriously considering.
This post is getting a little long, so I think I’ll end it here. I’ve only touched on a smidgen of the opportunities available, so I encourage you to explore and get out more. Remember, for most of y’all, you’re only at uni once!