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Territorian techie stays local to study: Jack's story

This article appears in: Alumni stories, High school to uni, Information Technology
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Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Jack wanted to stay close to his loved ones after high school, while still achieving his goal of getting an IT degree. CDU was the natural choice. Here's how his IT studies and the tight-knit IT community helped him realise his career goals.

Fuelled by a love for figuring things out, Jack started his IT degree at CDU with a goal of gaining the experience, knowledge and professional standing to forge a career in the Darwin IT industry. Today, he’s a graduate data analyst with local government and feels strongly about making an impact through his work.

“I’m driven to make a difference to the Darwin community and delivering a good outcome for my stakeholders – the people of Darwin – regardless of the work I’m doing,” says Jack. “I believe that the use of data analysis and the use of data software can help to reduce the emissions and resources that my organisation uses.”

Community counts, says Jack

Reflecting on his studies, Jack believes the community of IT students at CDU and the local IT industry was integral to helping his achieve his study and career goals.

“With small class sizes, lower tuition fees than other universities interstate and a great community of student organisations and student-run events, an IT degree at CDU was the right fit for me,” he says.

The close-knit community of IT professionals and students in the NT made it easy to get to know people and form lasting friendships

"I loved meeting fellow IT enthusiasts and learning about things I’d never even heard of before starting uni," he says. 

It was through this community that Jack ended up CDU’s annual Code Fair, where he got his foot in the door for his first job post-uni.

“These events were a good chance to meet people from the industry, catch up with fellow students and eat pizza at the same time.

"Once I started building my networks, a number of opportunities opened up, which will support me to continue my data analysis work well into the future.”


Jack Silburn

What Jack wishes he’d known

Jack’s advice for those considering studying IT at CDU? “I only realised when I finished my studies that what you get out of uni comes down to what you put in," he says.

CDU is an awesome, exciting place to study and you can make the most of it if you put the effort in.

“My favourite lecturers gave their units 100% effort, which motivated me to attend and work hard to achieve academically.”

Staying on top of ongoing revision is critical, he says. “The subjects I did well in are the ones where I did extra study over and above the assigned work.

"Don’t leave things to the last minute. Chances are your friends ask you to head out or work will need an extra shift covered – all when you have an assignment due in three days’ time that you haven’t started yet. The stress isn’t worth it. Get organised and start early.”

And on a very practical level, Jack says: “download an extension for your web browser that will filter out distracting websites like Facebook and YouTube. And uninstall your video games!"

His parting advice is passed on from his lecturers: “innovation and being proud of your work is more important than just completing the coursework.”

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