Engineering alum Andrea Hempshall’s commitment to both her studies and her future put her ahead of her game. After experiencing the study tour of a lifetime to NASA and great results with the VU Block Model, she has landed her dream job and is sharing advice for first-year students.
"I chose mechanical engineering so that I could develop the skills to create new tools that help limit people’s suffering, by reducing the impact of climate change and disease.
The VU Block Model’s single-unit study mode enabled me to study smarter, not harder. This enhanced the quality of my work, and I could focus on enjoying time with family and friends.
I had a previous uni experience with the standard study mode; juggling several subjects at the same time made it difficult to find balance, and I experienced periods of high stress.
VU 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 university highlight was 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 we worked on a variety of different projects, from building rockets 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.
I also worked as an undergraduate engineer for 10 months with Marand Precision Engineering. These work experiences have greatly contributed to me gaining the confidence and skills to obtain my position as a graduate consultant for Resonate Consultants. They specialise in vibration and acoustic reporting for infrastructure, wind energy, buildings and marine sectors. This is my dream job and they picked me despite lacking some experience because they loved to see all the work I showed them from VU.
I think what I am most gratefulfor, is that VU helped me find my confidence to achieve so much more than I thought I could four years ago.
Every employer I have interviewed with has specifically asked about either the NASA Tour and/or Enactus projects, which show's how much value VU Academy has offered its members in terms of job outcomes after university.
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."