Jessie Fahey

  • Jessie Fahey

EPECentre Undergraduate Scholar

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Profile

Published August 2020

Briefly describe yourself

I am a 2nd Pro student studying electrical engineering at UC. I love to involve myself in student life, challenging projects, and community events. Despite being the quiet type, I enjoy taking opportunities to take the lead and navigate unknown waters.  

Why did you choose to study at UC?

UC has a rich history of engineering endeavours and it is always intriguing to see the active research happening in the ECE department. The club culture is also very strong and it has been amazing to find and befriend people that enjoy the same hobbies as myself.

Why engineering?

From the get-go, I have wanted to show that anybody, from any background, can have what it takes to put in the mahi, and lead decisions made about New Zealand's power or be on the cutting edge of technology. I believe the only way we can represent and help people in their daily lives is by having a diverse range of individuals at the metaphorical engineering decision-making table. Being an engineer with technical skills under my belt allows me to challenge pre-existing ideas and help improve communities' quality of life.

How have you benefitted from the EPECentre scholarship?

The EPECentre scholarship has been excellent for networking and giving me the confidence to reach out to industry members.

How would you like to contribute to the electricity industry after completing your studies?

Where I can, I learn about companies, businesses and schools – large or small – in order to understand what gaps must be bridged in the future of electrical power. My view of the power industry’s future revolves around connection and human relations, as it is vital to know the faces behind the company, suppliers and people we are trying to provide for. It would fill my cup to design micro-scale devices or self-regulated infrastructure that allows small communities to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.

What advice would you give to students thinking about engineering?

Engineering opens up endless possibilities for you. The professional skills you learn with the degree are highly transferable, so even if you choose to go down a different career path, the engineering mindset will keep you afloat in many situations. It also feels amazing to design and build things that fit a purpose, because it reveals how you can have a practical impact on issues you care about. My advice to women considering engineering is to back yourself. It is hard to feel like you belong when you are a minority amongst your peers, but that in no way describes your potential. Know yourself and the amazing abilities you have and don’t let doubt lead you to underestimate yourself.

What have been your highlights of the year?

Starting UC with the Emerging Leaders Development Programme to help me adjust and understand my leadership potential was extremely helpful in encouraging me to get amongst uni life. I was able to become a UC Rotary Associate and step into the volunteering scene, contribute to the Women In Tech Society and QCanterbury executives, and join groups like the UC Running Club. Through these activities, I have met some inspiring people from all age brackets who have sparked my self-introspection to become a better representative, engineer, and person.