An observation at a live concert led Tomas to eventually pursue a BE(Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering.
I’d really love to get into special effects. When I went to see Taylor Swift’s show, part of the stage lifted out and swung around while she was standing on the end of it – five or six metres in the air. I knew an engineer had to be responsible for that!
“I took a maths paper in Year 13 that was on offer to school students in the first semester and that along with doing Maths, Physics and Science made me realise that Engineering was the right choice for me. It seemed like a good combination of my skills and things that I enjoyed. I knew that if I had an engineering degree the possibilities will be fairly open and I wasn't constrained or stuck with work – so the money and job prospects were decent encouragement!
“Getting into a specialisation is competitive, but the great thing is that engineers are all very supportive of each other. People are very interested in working together rather than working against each other. In terms of lecturers, the passion in what people do is definitely present and that’s what I really enjoy about the faculty.
"Some of our lecturers are riots. They're really funny and clearly passionate about what they're teaching. It's one of the things I enjoy most about the faculty. No one is just here because they needed a job!
“Everyone in my family has been to the University of Auckland, and with its high rankings it makes sense to pick it. We also offer the most Engineering specialisations, and are still the only one in New Zealand offering Mechatronics, so for me this was an easy choice.
“When I’m studying, I’ll go to the library or Albert Park; on a sunny day there’s nowhere better to be. Or I might be at the University’s Queerspace, which is a safe physical space for queer people to just hang out. Engineering has the Rainbow Engineering Network which holds regular social meetings to chat about what’s going on. The University is quite good with queer-friendliness, I think, which is good.
“I’m also part of the University’s Photographic Society, and that’s really fun. They have a dark room, and they quite often get us on field trips away. I’m constantly busy, but it’s very rewarding when you know that you’re learning new skills and gaining so much knowledge. An engineering degree can open doors around the world.”