For Lupesina (Lufilufi, and Salelologa, Samoa; Atafu, Tokelau), studying engineering also puts her in a position to make a positive impact on the world.
“I got into Engineering Science because it has a little bit of everything and I didn’t like the feeling of just being a specialist in one thing. It involves making different decisions and definitely complements the Commerce side of my degree well.
“For me, the biggest appeal of engineering has always been the broader picture. When you’re doing work and obsessing over details like coding, it’s always about flow and effects – you never quite know if your work as a student has impact or even if it’ll be applicable or if you’ll see half the stuff you’re learning again, but we’re acquiring these skills and becoming self-sufficient; we’d be assets in the workforce. There are transferrable qualities and you build a lot of resilience by learning difficult concepts.
“One of the best parts about Engineering Science is the Part II field trip. It’s a lot of fun – we went to Rotorua for a few days to go on site visits. These included a geothermal plant to learn about their systems and processes, and we got to understand their logistics and scheduling of staff, which looks really dry but has huge implications at the human level.
“In hindsight, I really chose Engineering not because of the specific subjects, but because of what qualities I would gain. I knew it was going to be tough, so if I survived, that must say something about my character. Thinking back about brochures from the past, I never saw myself represented in those, which is another reason why I do it. Growing up, you don’t often think of anything outside of yourself or the issues and impacts you can have beyond what’s immediately in front of you – I’m always driven by the next step and what’s bigger than this.”