'I'll have an input into making a difference to our environment...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Natural Resources Engineering
Maddy has always had a dream of doing volunteer work overseas to improve hygiene and sanitation in a developing community, and becoming a professional engineer will help her to realise that dream.
'It's one of the reasons I am studying Natural Resources Engineering,' she says. 'I think it will make it a realistic goal. The opportunities that an Engineering degree opens up are incredible and the range of jobs I could end up doing and places I could work also excites me. I don't want a pure office job and engineering will let me have a balance between office work, site work and interacting with people, plus I'll have an input into making a difference to our environment.'
Through her engineering work hours - students complete 100 days of practical work placement - Maddy has worked in both contracting and a consultancy, and has decided that she wants eventually to work in a consultancy. 'I also want to travel at some point, but I do want to end up in New Zealand and be in a management role within ten years.'
Maddy's internship at Engineering Design Consultants (EDC) has seen her experience a range of tasks.
'I am primarily in the environmental team but have also worked with the geotechnical, civil and structural teams at times. I have done preliminary site investigation reports for contaminated land, CAD work, pipe design, site inspections among other jobs. Learning how to use CAD has been really beneficial.'
Originally from Cambridge in the Waikato region, Maddy had two main reasons for choosing UC.
'Firstly, it was known to have the best engineering school and the second reason was its clubs scene. That's a real point of difference as it creates a student culture unseen at any other uni in New Zealand. It creates a strong community feel and opportunities to make friends. At UC there is a high focus on support for all aspects of your study life, and there is always something happening.
An Excellence in Engineering scholarship winner, Maddy has thrown herself into extra-curricular activities relating to her study.
'I highly recommend being on a club committee as it is so much fun and teaches you so much about yourself and organisation. I have been involved in ENSOC this year as the Faculty Rep, which has been a good challenge. I've also been involved in tutoring NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 for the Excelerate Pasifika programme which was run through UC. It was a cool experience to help younger students and also encourage them to try their hardest and aim to go to university. The students were on the most part very receptive and it's good to see some of them here this year.'
Maddy admits that an Engineering degree is hard work but enjoys it that way, with the social side of life offsetting the any work pressures.
'You have to be ready to knuckle down and get stuck in. It is hard initially as it's such a change from school, but the 3rd and 4th years are rewarding so keep at it. Find a good balance and don't sacrifice your grades, but definitely try to get as involved as you can in the social aspect of uni. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things, meet new people and enjoy every minute here.'