STEM Bursary Success Story

11 Jul 2024

Meet Barbara, one of the recipients of our STEM Student Bursary Program sponsored by the Oven Mountain Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project.
This bursary has enabled Barbara to purchase a new computer, which will help her study for the Preparing for Success Program at SCU, where she will gain the necessary skills to succeed at university. 💻🧡
How will this bursary assist you with your studies?

The bursary will assist in the purchase of new technical equipment; I have been frequenting the Macleay Valley CUC for the purpose of doing my studies as I did not have a computer nor a printer, I have also been using the TAFE and University libraries to get student laptop loans but unfortunately that did not work out very often as there are procedures in place for student laptop loans that were not very flexible for my study flow.

How has the CUC impacted your studies?

The impact was quite big, as I had no access to a computer other than a work computer offered for my traineeship or a TAFE student laptop which I found recently had only day loans on campus unfortunately; so, there wasn’t much flexibility. When I reached out, I was unsure if I was eligible to use the space but thankfully, I was! after accessing the space I was there quite frequently catching up on my studies, and I completed both certificates within 8-10 months.

How important is having the CUC in your local area and why?

As a student coming from a low socio-economic background, it is a convenient space for those of us without the funds to purchase brand new laptops, computers, and printers as well as internet access. It is important to students who wanted to further their education and don’t have the means of transport, those of us who wanted to be close to home or had other duties to attend to apart from study such as work and family matters.

What course are you currently studying and what made you choose a STEM degree?

I’m currently working through the Preparing for Success program through SCU. I’ve chosen a STEM degree because I’ve always had an interest in computers, from a young age I was fascinated. In 2019 I enrolled in a digital media and IT course through TAFE and I found myself to really enjoy learning about the basics of IT. I found myself studying a certificate 3 in IT with the hopes of it being a study pathway to university.

How has the CUC impacted your studies?

Definitely the afterhours access which I made the most of during my traineeship as a library assistant. I enjoy the after-hours access the most as well as the space to come and hang; have lunch and just relax. Also, I enjoyed the craft nights held by the CUC!

What advice or tips would you give to other regional or rural students wanting to study?

As a student studying part-time and working full-time; my advice would be to focus on balancing work, life and study. Be patient with yourself and always ask for help; as intimidating as it is, I find asking for help from tutors, assessors or teachers can really benefit your learning journey.

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