Fourth-year engineering student Andrea Hempshall’s commitment to both her studies and her future puts her ahead of her game. After experiencing the study tour of a lifetime to NASA and great results with the VU Block Model, she shares advice for first-year students.
"I chose mechanical engineering so that I could develop skills to innovate and create new tools to help limit people’s suffering by reducing the impact of climate change and disease.
The VU Block Model’s single-unit study mode has enabled me to study smarter, not harder. This enhances the quality of my work, and I can focus on enjoying time with family and friends.
I had a previous uni experience with traditional study mode; juggling several subjects at the same time made it difficult to find balance, and I experienced periods of high stress.
My university highlight so far is the study tour to NASA’s Space University. Together with 21 VU students, we went to Johnson Space Centre in Houston and Silicon Valley California.
There are so many opportunities for engineering students to gain hands-on learning; there’s the VU Motorsport team, and VU Academy – where you can work on a variety of different projects, from building rockets with VU Space School to becoming an entrepreneur with Enactus VU.
I spent the summer between third and fourth year working as a facilities engineering intern with a company called APA Group that owns 50% of Australia's natural gas pipelines.
Our teachers are industry experts. Two are leading research into vibrational data collected from transport vehicles to reduce plastic packaging waste used for cushioning produce. This research will lead to less food and plastic waste during the transportation of food.
My advice to first-year students is to take up as many extra-curricular activities as you can. Go to university events, join a team, get part-time work, and if you enjoy travelling, then study overseas. To stand out, employers want well-rounded graduates that seek opportunities."