Engineering and IT graduate students share top tips for new students

Master of Engineering students Will, Ella and Kelvin completed their undergraduate degrees at the University of Melbourne. They share their advice for new students.

Will Hayward, Bachelor of Science & Master of Engineering (Mechanical with Aerospace)

1. Don't lock yourself in to one engineering stream from the start of your undergraduate degree

Be open and explore other areas of engineering that may interest you as the course allows you to do this. Either you'll affirm that you want to study the discipline you initially decided to pursue, or you will discover other areas and disciplines that intrigue you and that you may prefer to study.

Join the Pre-Eng club to find out about different engineering careers through site visits and meet other students interested in pursuing a career in Engineering.

2. Work hard but enjoy yourself

While it’s important to focus on your studies and work hard, it’s also important that you find time to do the things you enjoy doing outside of your course. This will help to balance the times where it can be stressful. The university has plenty of clubs and societies that can help facilitate these interests as well as giving you the chance to meet other students with similar interests.

3. Plan ahead

It may seem daunting to think about what you are going to be doing two or three years in the future, but there are many opportunities such as studying abroad or pursuing a specific major that you’ll need to plan ahead for. Try to have a rough idea of what you want your course to look like so you can easily adapt and alter it as your needs change. If you do have a desire to study abroad, start thinking about and planning for it early on so you don't miss out.

Ella Guthrie, Bachelor of Science & Master of Engineering (Environmental)

1. Explore your options

I always thought I was lucky throughout my studies that I had plenty of opportunities to travel and explore different disciplines. I realise now that it was mainly because I was not afraid to diversify. There are so many subjects with cool field trips and opportunities for unconventional learning if you just make an effort to branch out a bit.

2. Make connections

Both on a professional and a social level. You don’t always know who you’ll be working with again. I met someone in my orientation group in first year who I ended up working with on my capstone project in my final year. I also found myself working as an intern with two of my friends from uni. People always have different mindsets and perspectives to offer, and it is important not to discredit that value just because you know them on a personal level.

3. Balance your priorities

Uni life can be pretty demanding sometimes. Keeping a balanced schedule allows you time to switch off from uni demands. Maintain hobbies and interests outside of uni, and remember that there are always ways to lighten the load of uni work, like taking summer/winter subjects, or maintaining a solid routine.

Kelvin Liao, Bachelor of Science & Master of Engineering (Electrical)

1. Apply for the peer mentoring program or mentoring programs like Ask Alumni

It can be difficult to navigate your way through options at university as well as to learn how to build up your skills to enter the job market after graduation. A mentor both in university and in the professional field will be able to provide insight into which subjects to study, which extracurricular activities may be useful, and what future employers are looking for.

2. Make friends with everyone you meet in your cohort

Through juggling assignments and other life commitments, you will find true friends who you can count on as well as friends who you would like to count on you. It is not easy to go through engineering school alone and so it is much better to do it with friends.

3. Be prepared

While there are many social events and networking opportunities occurring on and off-campus, it’s important to note that your studies should come first. Plan your timetable well and prioritise your tasks so you’re able to attend the events that you absolutely must attend and are still able to meet your academic goals.

Related Topics

Join the Pre-ENG Club Combining commerce and engineering