4th-year student, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Construction Engineering
A career in engineering has always been her dream, says Annajane Leslie Schutz who came to AUT from Kiribati to study construction engineering, supported by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade NZ Scholarship.
“Ever since high school it has been a goal for me to direct my studies into either a civil or construction engineering career path. Engineering is all about using physics, science and mathematics to solve universal problems, and that attracts me.
“I specifically chose construction engineering because I admire how physics and mathematical concepts are used to determine and ensure the safety and stability of infrastructures. I’ve also always wanted to master the art of critical thinking that can be translated into the development of projects to enhance people’s lives and sustain the safety and utilisation of existing infrastructures.”
Annajane already has a clear idea how she sees her future.
“Once I finish my AUT degree I’d first like to be mentored and trained by construction professionals or senior engineers to develop the industry knowledge and competency to work as an engineer in Kiribati. I want to relate the knowledge and skills I’ve developed here in New Zealand to the work I’ll be doing towards the development of Kiribati’s construction sector. Eventually, I’d like to be able to work as a structural engineer or a project manager.”
The right university environment
There have been plenty of highlights throughout her studies so far, says Annajane who also serves as an AUT student ambassador in addition to her studies.
“What I’ve enjoyed most about my study at AUT is learning and acquiring knowledge from lecturers who are not only knowledgeable on different aspects of construction engineering, but also very affable and generous with their time. I also enjoy studying and using the facilities at the new engineering building; the final-year project rooms are convenient and quiet, with computers that provide access to all the engineering software needed.”
Your time at university is about much more than your studies, she says.
“One of the messages the AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack usually stresses at Orientation is that at AUT it’s not only about academic achievements but that transferable skills, or C skills, are also encouraged as they’re essential to becoming a great graduate within the industry.
“This message has inspired me to reach further and step out of my comfort zone to develop and test my limits. As of today, I’m on the verge of completing the AUT Edge Award, an award that helps you develop transferable skills and aims to develop your leadership potential while increasing your employability skills.”
Advice for other students
Now in the final year of her engineering degree, Annajane has some great advice for other students.
“My advice is to set your goals and follow your passion, but always choose a place where you feel supported. Success doesn’t always come from being at the top. Sometimes it comes from the inspiration and encouragement you get from the people you cross paths with and the environment you settle into.”
She would highly recommend the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Construction Engineering to other students.
“If you like to challenge yourself and want to be a part of the development and changes in this modern world, construction engineering is for you. With this programme, you can definitely make your mark, and become a critical thinker, a team player and a competent problem solver.”