For this issue Prospects asked Conor Bush, a recent Engineering and Arts graduate, to tell us about her combined course, why she chose to study it and the opportunities she got involved in as a student at UWA.
Here is what she had to say...
I have always been interested in how things work particularly mechanical devices; when I was younger I would always take pens apart and put them back together! At the end of high school I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at uni, but I was good at science and maths, so it seemed natural to go into engineering. It was a good choice, as by the end of first year, I loved it! I initially choose to combine my engineering degree with an arts degree in order to be more employable by the end of my studies, but I also had a desire to work overseas. I had always wanted to learn other languages, so I chose to major in German.
What I liked most about my engineering course was the practical, hands-on approach to learning. Right from first year we had to design and build projects. While there is a strong theoretical side to studying engineering, we were always required to put into practice what we had studied through experiments and projects. I also like the fact that the UWA Engineering Faculty has strong connections to industry. From first year we were encouraged to apply for vacation work with companies, and we were assisted by the university in the form of company presentations and seminars on how to write resumes and what to do in a job interview.
My final year project for engineering was undertaken jointly with the engineering company, Aurecon, who I had worked with as a vacation student. The project was focused on a commercial building, with the aim of exploring ways in which the energy consumption could be reduced. This is a hot topic at the moment, particularly for commercial buildings, as they consume a large quantity of energy per annum which translates to costs.
The German side of my degree was also hands-on, as it was primarily taught in German, not English, so we were often thrown in the deep end, but this meant we had a fast learning curve! Through my German degree I had the opportunity to go on a short exchange to Stuttgart at the end of first year. It was a six week intensive language course, with chances to be immersed in the German culture and language. It was a great experience, and I wish I had taken another exchange program for a full semester.