Prayag Shethia

Prayag Shethia

Process Development Engineer, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering

He loves his role as an engineer at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, says Prayag Shethia who came to AUT as an international student from India to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering.

“My role enables me to use my creative and problem-solving skills to design and implement automation solutions for industrial processes, robotics, machinery and software applications, and to work with fascinating technology and tools using smart computers, programming languages, controllers, sensors and actuators.

“This role has a big element of continuous improvement to increase efficiency, quality, safety and reliability, thus decreasing costs, risks and negative environmental effects. One of the most interesting things I’ve been involved in has been working to improve the environmental impact of our processes, and operations to reduce waste, increase recyclability, and invest in a better and a more sustainable process of working, manufacturing and delivering projects. All of this with an enthusiastic and experienced team around and the support and freedom of learning whatever I want to. It’s just incredible!”

An easy choice
Prayag seems to have been destined for a career in engineering.

“I was always that one child who tried opening devices and broke them, but then felt the need to try fix them. I always wanted to achieve something different, a fresh perspective on solving problems. AUT was one of the universities that accepted my application the fastest, and with its younger vibe, smaller classes and more practical approach, it seemed to be an easy ‘best choice’.”

The beauty of studying mechatronics is that it’s the “Jack of all Trades” of the engineering world, he says.

“Mechatronics is a combination of mechanical engineering, designing, computer programming and electronics. The field is new, and gives you ample knowledge and practical skills for designing, prototyping, programming, troubleshooting, communicating and managing projects. Every company likes people who are flexible, mouldable and have the basic knowledge for most things.

“Over the four years of my study, leadership and connections are the main skills I have developed, both through academic projects and by working with different industries in internships and work experiences. AUT gave me a lot of different opportunities to connect with people, work with them, and build personal and close connections.”

Advice for other students
Prayag has some great advice for other students.

“If you see an opportunity, grab it, no matter what! If you can’t find one, make one. No one ever achieves their goal simply after waking up from a dream. It’s definitely not how this universe works. It's important to step up with varied skills and try different things to see where you flourish the most. Sometimes, opportunities are away from your skillset or possible interest, but at least you get to learn something new.”

Make the most of your time at university, he adds.

“Study hard and get that done early. But don’t compromise on opportunities across AUT, volunteering or event projects. For example, I entered AUT’s entrepreneurship competition to help me develop my idea of developing a visual and audio translator for the Deaf community or people who have a hearing impairment within New Zealand. I was also the president of the AUT Startup Club, and loved that the club brings together passionate people who are looking to start, build or grow their businesses, or who want to connect with founders, CEOs and leaders within this community. Experiences like that are what makes a ‘great graduate’.”