How has the Fircroft Scholarship helped you?
Fircroft are proud sponsors of the University of Western Australia and through Fircroft’s Scholarship programme we are sponsoring one engineering student throughout their 5 year engineering degree. We caught up with James Li, the undergraduate in receipt of this scholarship (who is now into his second semester of his first year at UWA) to see how his studies are going.
What made you decide to pursue a degree in Engineering?
“I decided to pursue a degree in Engineering as I particularly enjoy maths and physics. I opted to undertake a double major degree (Engineering Science and Finance) in order to optimise my breadth of learning. I believe undertaking a degree with finance elements will also prepare me for management roles further into my career”
What are you enjoying most about your degree?
“What I enjoy most is learning new things every week. Each week I am smarter than the week before. University is a big change to high school and is far more fast-paced and I am enjoying the independence and the responsibility of managing my own development that comes with it”
What has receiving this sponsorship from Fircroft meant for you?
“The scholarship from Fircroft means a great deal to me. It means I can focus solely on my studies rather than having to allocate a proportion of my time to work to fund my studies and then have less time to dedicate to my degree. I can focus all my efforts on getting the very best out of my degree”
What do you plan to do upon graduating?
“Once I complete my undergraduate degree I plan to obtain a role in finance to gain experience whist completing my masters degree in engineering. Once I obtain my masters degree I plan to obtain an entry level engineering role, start from the bottom and work my way up the career ladder. I want to gain as much experience and exposure as possible and plan to look into vacation programmes whilst at university to maximise my chances of securing a good opportunity upon graduating. I would also like to investigate the possibility of graduate programmes at engineering companies”
What challenges do you think newly graduated students entering the market today experience?
“In my opinion the challenge graduates face is overcoming the expectation of too much too soon. As a graduate you may have a degree and possibly even a masters but when entering the workplace you still need to start at the bottom and work your way up. Putting in the hard graft is something I am very prepared to do once I enter the working world”
In your opinion, what can a graduate engineer offer an employer?
“Graduates can offer employers a great deal. They can offer current knowledge and fresh ideas and offer a clean slate for employers to mould into what they need. Graduates also come with great interpersonal skills and relationship building skills as university life is all about making new friends and acquaintances. This is a skill that graduates can carry through into the workplace too”
What’s been the best bit of advice you have received and why?
“The best piece of advice I have been given is if you want something you have to work hard for it. Sometimes you can be lucky and obtain what you want by chance but mostly it is hard work, dedication and perseverance that gets you the end result you want. I feel the Fircroft Scholarship is an acknowledgment of the hard work I have invested into high school and it will motivate me to carry this attitude all the way through life”