Life After VCE: Mechanical Engineering at Federation UniversityBy Callum Boyce in Tertiary Education
16th of November 2016
I knew a long time before I started at Federation University Australia that I needed a Mechanical Engineering degree to get my dream job. What I didn’t know is that my dream job would end up being part of my degree.
I’ve had a passion for motorsport since forever. My family and I have built a couple of cars from the ground up to race in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships, and I was racing and working on cars long before I started uni. It’s what I loved doing; so the only career that made sense to me was mechanical engineering.
But while I had no issues picking a subject to study, picking a uni wasn’t as easy. I lived in Ballarat, but was happy to move for the right course. I went to a bunch of open days, but a move to Geelong looked the best.
As nice as the uni was, I found out in my first year that it wasn’t for me. The mechanical engineering program for the first year covered a lot of different areas in engineering, but I knew where my heart was at, so a lot of the subjects just weren’t relevant to my career path.
“I had a look around, and decided the best fit for me had been under my nose in Ballarat the whole time.”
I transferred to FedUni for my second year. And I knew that FedUni had a really good record of putting mining graduates into work straight out of uni, but I didn’t realise at the time how good employment rates for engineering grads were. Every uni tries to pump themselves up with those figures, so I didn’t take much notice to those when I started.
“FedUni is more of a community than a uni, so people tend to stick together. Everyone keeps each other motivated to study.”
When you’re working towards something, not just working towards finishing the degree, that’s a huge advantage.
FedUni’s Engineering School also had a great core group of lecturers. They might not have taught every course, but they all knew the details of each course. That meant if the lecturer wasn’t available you could always go to someone else and they’d be able to help.
On top of the lecturers, there were guys who were studying for their Masters who were tutoring the undergrads; they had just done the same coursework that we were doing so they knew exactly where we were coming from.
For our final year project, we reinstated the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers competition team. We designed a performance car using computer modelling and CAD software, with lecturers overseeing our work. If I hadn’t done that I’d have missed out – that directly relates to the work I do now.
In my fourth year, I applied for a three-month placement at Bisitecniks, a local engineering and consulting company that services the transport industry. This was exactly the work I wanted to be doing. Luckily they accepted my placement… and the rest is history. I loved the work, and with the hands-on work I’d done at FedUni. I knew what I was doing, and could pick up what I didn’t know fast.
When I finished my placement, they told me to apply for a job when I had my degree, and that’s exactly what I did.
“I got a job straight away after uni, which I know not many people get to do these days.”
It was the same for almost all my friends from mechanical engineering. They found it super easy to get work straight away.
Federation University Australia got me fully prepared to step into the job I wanted. You can’t get better than that. If you want to study somewhere with a great community feel and know you’re getting the skills you need, you should definitely check out FedUni.