In work and life, university has prepared Enda well
Completing an industry internship, joining University clubs and studying a degree with hands-on learning have all helped international student Enda Larasati step into life after uni with confidence.
And the future is looking bright for the Master of Engineering (Chemical with Business) graduate, who has landed a job with cleaning and hygiene product manufacturer Jasol.
The job deals a lot with clients – from mining to dairy industries – building up hygiene solutions that are safe but also cost-effective, so it really aligns with both my technical and business knowledge, she says.
I use problem-solving skills I learnt at university; breaking down big problems into smaller sections and taking on board other people’s perspectives, which is really important.
She draws on skills she learned during her studies, in particular during her final-year capstone project, where her team had to determine the technical operational requirements for a new vitamin manufacturing plant, as well as its economic viability.
The skills she learned during her internship with food and beverage company Lion, organised by the university as part of her degree, are also proving invaluable. Enda looked at the potential for recycling acid and base products used to clean processing equipment.
These products are traditionally single-use, but I found it was feasible to re-use them and they could save half of their chemical expenses, she says.
Serendipitously, Jasol develops the same type of acid and base cleaning solutions she investigated in her industry placement. And among its clients. a food and beverage company.
So now when I meet my clients, I can understand where they're coming from. I can give them ideas of how they can improve their hygiene solutions.
But Enda says the benefits of her education were more than just professional. Coming from Indonesia, she enjoyed making lasting friendships and building confidence by joining University clubs.
I was quite timid entering a new foreign environment knowing no-one. It was nerve-wracking, she says.
But I came with a mindset that I wanted to join as many clubs that aligned with my interests as I could.
One of those clubs was Robogals, a student-run organisation that holds engineering and technology workshops for students, particularly school-aged girls, to inspire them about a future in the field. The broader aim is to create more gender-balanced STEM industries.
It was a vision I was truly passionate about so I signed up and they were very welcoming, very inclusive. I met really great people who I’m still in contact with, says Enda, who became executive committee member.
When I reflect back, I think: ‘I did something good while I was at university that was really cool and really impactful’.
While she chose the University of Melbourne for the opportunities its reputation affords its graduates on the world stage, it has provided so much more.
The fact that it’s one of the top 50 universities in the world is an added bonus, she says.
The whole experience, not just my studies, but my social life, joining clubs and meeting new people. I think that's what makes a university a great place to be a part of.