'The connections I made through robotics really inspired me...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics Engineering
Intern, Syft Technologies
After her involvement with RoboCup New Zealand competitions throughout high school, 2013 International Space Camp, and experiencing competitive programming through the NZ Olympiad in Informatics development camps, Ailsa had developed an interest in solving problems through programming that she wanted to see into university study.
‘The connections I made through robotics really inspired me to study Mechatronics. I also had a whole bunch of really supportive teachers and mentors, they really pushed me and opened doors to industries and opportunities I had never even thought of!’
After attending E-Week in 2014, Ailsa was set on UC for Engineering.
‘The E-Week camp definitely convinced me UC was for me and that I wanted to be somewhere in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. All of the activities we did and the staff I met were really genuine about their passions and encouraging others into their fields.’
Ailsa enrolled with a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship for her NCEA results. So far she has especially enjoyed the support and connections she has made with Mechatronics study.
‘I really enjoy that you can see what you learn every single day, it’s very relevant and interesting,’ she says. ‘Mechatronics first pro took a field trip to Fonterra; the whole university is keen for you to go out and get a job with your degree so they foster heaps of industry relations!
‘Now that we have the new Core building I really enjoy the space to study and work on campus. I also like the academic support in place to help students. Time management and curiosity have been the keys to this degree for me. UC and the UCSA has a great network to help you achieve as a student.’
She also emphasises that students get involved with clubs to see and do more with UC, being a member of Women in Engineering, UC Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Student Volunteer Army, and DigSoc for her gardening. ‘I really enjoy industry related events and meeting UC alumni through these groups,’ she says.
Her spare time off campus, when she has some, is mostly spent running or tramping around Lake Brunner, and she also enjoys baking as a self-professed ‘real foodie’.
Ailsa is really pleased with UC’s emphasis on practical work experience, having already gained ongoing part-time work with Syft Technologies after completing a practical summer internship with them.
‘At Syft Technologies I worked in their production team making modules for their VOICE200 Mass Spectrometer machine. I learnt far more than I was expecting and have really grown professionally under their influence. It really became obvious to me how relevant my class work is to the real world.
‘In the long run I would love to work for a company with a strong sense of team work and fostering growth, at Syft Technologies both of these points are key to the company,’ she says.
‘I’m also very sustainably-minded, eventually I would like to work in a company whose goals about sustainability and mentality around using technology to help others aligns with my own.’