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How a hands-on degree is helping Nicholas become an engineer

This article appears in: Engineering, High school to uni
CDU student Nicholas studying laptop online

Nicholas has always wanted to get involved in projects and at CDU he’s done exactly that. Studying his engineering degree has kept him pretty busy and, combined with a hands-on cadetship, he’s on track to build a successful career in engineering.

Nicholas had planned to study engineering at CDU long before he finished high school. "An engineering degree appealed to me because it combined the best of math, science and problem solving; all areas I enjoy and excel at,” says Nicholas.

Rewarded for hard work

On the back of his ATAR results in Year 12, Nicholas was awarded CDU’s Dean’s Scholarship for High Achieving School Leavers. His scholarship is valued at up to $25,000, with cash payments of up to $5,000 made in increments over the course of his studies.

A $25,000 scholarship has eased the financial pressure of undertaking a five-year university course.

“I’ve been able to put the money towards purchasing the textbooks I need, and any leftover from each semester I can put towards unit fees," he says. 

Practical experience with industry

CDU student Nicholas Glinatsis in the library

Nicholas is already achieving amazing things while studying his engineering degree at CDU.

He's achieved high distinctions in math in both semesters and, thanks to industry connections and forums of CDU's engineering school, successfully applied for a cadetship with Downer EDI (which is one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest infrastructure management firms). 

Working with Downer EDI during my engineering degree has been an amazing experience.

“Flying down to work in Adelaide for three weeks is a trip I won’t forget.

“I gained so much experience on the project resealing all the old roads. As it was only my first year in the cadetship program, I wasn't driving trucks or rollers, but I was helping out on the ground," he says. 

Nicholas was involved in preparing the road for the maintenance, laying papers for the sprayer truck, and cleaning up the road after the work was done. 

Supported to succeed

CDU student Nicholas in the library with a study buddy

Studying engineering is not without its challenges, but Nicholas has faced them head on.

“Understanding some of the engineering course content can be difficult at times, but I’ve overcome this by taking advantage of all the help offered," says Nicholas. 

I've attended free study support sessions offered by CDU and extra tutorial sessions run by lecturers.

“I’ve created a weekly timetable and dedicate set periods throughout the day to studying, without the distractions of social media, work, or sport,” he says. “I make a list of all assignments and tests due dates, so I can see when everything needs to be done by and prioritise accordingly.”

The end of the road

After graduating with his engineering degree, Nicholas hopes to be offered employment with Downer EDI so he can continue learning and gaining further experience.

CDU has given me a great grounding for a career as an engineer and I’m excited about my future.

His advice to those considering an engineering degree?

“Choose a course you’ll be interested in and make sure you have enough time to dedicate to study,” he says. “Quality is more important than quantity. There’s no point trying to study for 2 hours if you are only focused for 30 minutes.

“Make friends with others in your course as it will make university easier and more enjoyable and give you alternative viewpoints on topics that you may not have previously had.”

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