Following his interests led Cole to pursue a BE(Hons) in Chemical and Materials Engineering.
“I enjoy the variety in my Chemical and Materials Engineering degree. It covers a lot of different topics: from energy and resources, to process engineering, and materials. We got to sample all the specialisations in our first year and I really loved Chemistry, so this really stood out to me. I’m really interested in energy and resources, renewables and nanomaterials. I've learnt that choosing this specialisation gives me a lot of career options – there are so many to look at.
I’ve done a project on the future of energy in New Zealand which was about taking our current energy situation and creating sustainable future. I also took part in a group project on the future of water resources in New Zealand which was also relevant to my degree. It was with 16 people; it was very challenging but rewarding, because so many people contributed to it.
“The best thing about the Faculty of Engineering is the sense of community; there are events and seminars constantly. I love the freedom of student life – you can really do what you want, study what you like, join any club and play any sport. Outside of study, I'm really into social sports. The University has a UniMates league so I play in the basketball and netball teams, and I've also played interfaculty cricket.
“I was in O'Rourke Hall in my first year. It was really good. There were 300 people in the same boat as me, most of them from outside Auckland, so it was a really good way to make friends.
“Everything you need is here – there are ample facilities for study and work. My ideal job would be in the renewable energy sector as I think it’s the future of energy worldwide. It would be awesome if I could work on developing solar energy in New Zealand. Chemical and materials engineering also offers work opportunities overseas which is really exciting.
“Coming to Auckland from Hastings was one of the best decisions I’ve made because I had to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve made a whole bunch of friends up here. I looked at going to other universities but they off ered nowhere near what Auckland off ered in terms of specialisations. The University of Auckland had the better reputation. My advice is to follow your interests – not your friends!”