Neeraj.

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.

Why did you choose UC?

I was attracted to the engineering program here. I also had the chance to do some extracurricular UC ‘Star’ courses when I was in high school. I really enjoyed the campus and the people, so UC was a natural choice for me.

Favourite part of your study so far?

Our hands on projects. I specialise in mechatronics, which combines mechanical, software and electrical engineering. Last year we did a robotics project called the Robocup. We had to design our own robot to compete in a competition. Unfortunately our robot died halfway through but it was still a cool experience!

You’re president of 180 Degrees – what’s that?

It's a student run club that’s part of a global network. We provide volunteer consultancy services to non-profits and NGOs. We get students from all kinds of disciplines to produce professional reports, with support from some big firms around Christchurch. It’s a great way to get real-world experience and have the chance to work with professional mentors, while doing good for the community.

What’s it like being President?

It's interesting! We’re a small club so I've been working to increase our prominence on-campus and get more professional firms onboard. I’ve had to learn how to manage and inspire the Exec, as well as how to charm potential industry supporters. It’s a new role for me and I’ve definitely grown a lot.

"I got to work with people from Deloitte, Stanford, even the White House. It was pretty full on!"

Any other experiences to share?

Last year I got to attend a 180 Degrees fellowship program where I travelled to Peru. Over the course of a week we helped an NGO called Yaqua which helps bring clean drinking water to Peruvians. I got to work with people from Deloitte, Stanford, even the White House. It was pretty full on!

What are you most proud of achieving at UC?

For me, it’s my personal growth. I’ve developed leadership skills and gained the confidence to step up and take opportunities. It sounds cheesy but I’ve bloomed here. UC is like a world in itself, a tight community with a sense of belonging. It’s a place where everyone is learning and growing.