Samuel.

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.

You’re from Wellington. Why UC?

I chose UC because I liked the way it has its own student hub away from the city centre. Also, the engineering school here has a highly practical side that I felt suited me well.

How's engineering going for you?

I’m really enjoying the hands-on approach. For example, right now I'm designing parts. Because UC offers a lot of time in the workshop and encourages practical work, it flows through into my assignments and professional work. The practical experience at UC gives you a chance to apply what you learn, so your knowledge is a lot more thorough.

What else have you been up to?

Volunteering! I’ve been a mentor and I’m in the Student Volunteer Army. We do a bunch of things in the community. I’ve done gardening for elderly people in Akaroa and baked brownies to fuel volunteer missions around town. I’ve learned a lot of practical skills too, like how to back a trailer!

This year you’re on the SVA exec?

I am. Right now I’m helping with the in-schools programme. We bring in students from high schools over Christchurch to give them a taste of UC and help them with their own volunteering initiatives. We help them plan events, mentor them and provide resources.

"The practical experience at UC gives you a chance to apply what you learn, so your knowledge is a lot more thorough."

Why the passion for volunteering?

I've always loved it. It’s a great way to help other people. Plus on a personal level you get to make friends and meet like-minded people.

How has it rounded out your uni experience?

It's given me a much wider outlook. I’ve had the chance to gain a lot of extra skills through things like the SVA. It’s tailored what I want for my future career. I still want to do engineering, but I want it to involve business and people too.

#1 tip for newcomers?

Get involved in the clubs scene. It's the best way to meet new people, especially ones with the same interests as you. If you’re coming from out of town I definitely think the halls can be a great place to start. There’s so much support and no one ever leaves without a friend!