A Pathway into Engineering

If you are thinking of studying a degree in Engineering but are concerned you may not meet the entry requirements, there are many different pathway options such as bridging courses and VET pathways as well as the Diploma of Engineering offered by Griffith College. courses that can help to satisfy the subject prerequisites. One opportunity is the Aptitude for Engineering Assessment test (AEA test) which students can take as an alternative admission pathway into the degree.

The AEA test is designed for candidates who may not have studied the prerequisite subjects at school or for applicants who lack the minimum rank score for admission. We often have mature age applicants who have worked in a number of roles for years but decide they would like to change careers into an engineering field and find this is a great option to gain entry into the Engineering degree without needing to undertake other prior study.

Two AEA test candidates, current student Charmaine Lewis and recent graduate Cameron Carslake, have shared their recent experience undertaking the test and how this pathway has been fundamental to their success.

Charmaine Lewis, current student studying the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

When did you enrol at Griffith?

I enrolled at Griffith straight out of school and the university was lovely in allowing me to defer my first trimester.

How did you hear about the AEA test?

I heard about AEA from a Griffith Open Day and through my high school guidance counsellor.

What made you decide to take the AEA test?

I took the AEA test because it was an early admittance program into the University. It was also a way for me to test myself and see if I was compatible with the Engineering discipline.

How has the AEA test helped you to gain entry into Engineering?

The test helped me gain insight into Griffith and Engineering. I completed the test and was notified within a couple of weeks that I would be receiving admittance if I had placed it into my QTAC application.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you have learnt as part of your Engineering degree so far?

I don’t believe that there is one thing I have learnt that would be classified as most valuable but rather a multitude of things. I have learnt that it is ok to ask for help in your studies, that I will work with a majority of other disciplines in the industry and about how to prepare for the future as well as adapt to things as they happen.

What are you enjoying the most out of the degree?

What I enjoy most about my degree is the real world applications that I get to experience throughout my courses. Having this real world knowledge as I am applying to internships has given me the ability to show that I can already meet a lot of industry standards. Griffith has given students the ability to not just understand the maths and logic behind concepts but also how to create and use the concepts.

How is Griffith preparing you for the workforce once you graduate?

Griffith is preparing me for the workforce through not only the courses but also employability weeks where I have been able to prepare for jobs but also experience them through visits and industry professionals.

What might be some useful tools and advice that you would give other students who are thinking about studying engineering?

The most useful advice I can give to anyone wanting to study Engineering is that it will not be easy but if you are determined and passionate about it, then it does not feel like a requirement to do the work but rather a learning opportunity that you will enjoy. The most useful tools I can recommend is to make friends with your classmates as they will help, to ask your lecturers, tutors and lab demonstrators for help because they will and lastly always be organised.

Cameron Carslake, recent graduate of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

How did you hear about the AEA test?

I was researching pathways to university as a mature age student and came across the AEA test on the Griffith website.

What made you decide to take the AEA test?

I had my mind set on studying engineering at Griffith and the AEA test was the obvious choice for me because I was a mature age student and did not meet the requirements for a typical school leaver.

How has the AEA test helped you to gain entry into Engineering?

The AEA test was fundamental to my entry into Engineering because I left high school after year 10 and completed an automotive electrical apprenticeship. The AEA test recognised my aptitude to study and apply Engineering logic without relying on scores from high school. Without the AEA test, I may not have had the chance to pursue my career.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you have learnt as part of your Engineering degree?

The most valuable thing I have learned is first principles thinking, it allows you to align your thinking to the true problem you are trying to solve without being bound to what has normally been done in the past.

What was the highlight of your degree?

The subjects I was studying in the later years of university in combination with my experience in the automotive industry allowed me to work as a technical support engineer for BMW motorsport and travel internationally for work. I think the highlight

was learning with other likeminded students at university and working with such a diverse range of people as part of my role for BMW.

How has Griffith prepared you for the workforce?

The most valuable thing Griffith taught me was how to learn and apply that knowledge quickly. There is rarely enough time in the workforce to study for weeks before applying some new knowledge or tool, most of the learning will be on the job at the same time you are applying it to a real problem.

Where do you work now and what do you enjoy most about this job?

I now work at PMB Defence Engineering in Adelaide, South Australia. I am an electronic design engineer in the new technologies team. Some of my responsibilities are test data management and analysis, test setup, and electronics design. I enjoy working with a small team where each of our efforts has a significant impact on the projects we are working on.

What might be some useful tools and advice that you would give other students who are thinking about studying engineering?

I think that Engineering at University can sometimes feel very general because it gives you the tools to approach a large list of problems and possible career paths. But this shouldn’t stop you jumping into specifics and exploring methods, tools, and software that a particular occupation would use to gain further understanding and give context to your study, especially if you know where you want to go after university.

Find out more about the Aptitude for Engineering Assessment test.

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