Kei Hirasedo came to the University of Melbourne as part of a Graduate Degree Package, pairing the Bachelor of Commerce with a Master of Engineering. Now, Kei reflects on his first semester at University, and what the future might hold.
Growing up, Kei’s interests were always split. An interest in the world of business meant he had a desire to study commerce from early on, but at the same time, there was always curiosity about the prospect of becoming an engineer. While he knew there were options to study in both fields, it was the announcement of the University of Melbourne’s new Graduate Degree Packages (GDP) in 2018 and receiving a Commerce Achievement Scholarship that helped him make his decision.
“I always knew there were ways you could structure your undergrad and postgrad with the Melbourne Model, but that pathway became a lot clearer to me once the GDPs were announced. Before that I was thinking about just studying commerce or looking at a double degree somewhere else. Now, I feel like the course has been laid out for me, I know what subjects I need to do to meet my prerequisites, and how much leeway I have to look at other options. It also gives me some flexibility, in that I’ve committed to my Bachelor of Commerce, which was my first priority, and I can decide what I want to do at the end of those three years, whether it’s stay on and complete the Master of Engineering or spend some time working in industry.”
The award of a Commerce Achievement Scholarship (CAS) means Kei is able to think about the breadth of opportunities open to him, and just what his course of study might look like.
“In a lot of ways, the scholarship felt like an added award for the work I put in through high school. I think there’s a lot of focus put on getting a high ATAR, and it’s important to get into the course you want, but once you exceed that I think there’s a tendency to feel like you’ve gone above and beyond without much acknowledgement. I know I’ve had friends in years above me who have felt that way. Being Awarded a CAS felt like an acknowledgement of the work I’d put in. It also means I have some support to look at things that add to the uni experience, like going on exchange and studying overseas.”
With a semester under his belt, Kei has had some time to think about the university experience so far, and how it differs from his previous schooling.
“I’ve learnt a lot, not just in terms of course content, but about the processes here. It’s a different way of learning, and a faster pace for sure. There’s a greater onus on self-learning and studying, which takes some adjustment. At the same time, it gives you a sense of freedom and responsibility, to challenge yourself, engage with what you’re reading and put together the knowledge that is being laid out for you.”
“New Graduate Degree Packages: If you’re a high achieving student and clear about what direction you want to take your study, explore our new Graduate Degree Packages, which can provide you with an undergraduate and graduate degree package offer through VTAC. Packages include, Commerce / Juris Doctor and Commerce / Engineering.
Commerce Achievement Scholarship: The Bachelor of Commerce has a long history of attracting and rewarding excellence. If you apply for the University’s Bachelor of Commerce or Commerce Graduate Degree Packages through VTAC you may be eligible for our new Commerce Achievement Scholarship, offering a $24,000 living allowance over three years, and a travel grant valued at $2,500.”
With another four and a half years ahead of study ahead of him, Kei has a way to go before completing his course, but the opportunities the GDP open up for him are already on the horizon.
“When I say I want to study engineering people always ask me what kind of engineer I want to be. I’m interested in structural or civil engineering, but at the same time, I think there are other things I might like. I think that’s one of the great things about the GDP, I have three years to do my prerequisites as part of the BCom and see where my interests lie. I think there are other things I could do once I finish as well, like consulting, or something in the banking sector. I have an uncle with a similar background who works in Silicon Valley now. He works in private equity and venture capital, but his engineering knowledge combined with his commerce training means he has a really good platform to run a business and look at the viability of projects and investment opportunities.”
Whatever his ultimate career outcome, Kei will be entering the working world with a unique skillset. It’s the perfect mix for a future leader and innovator.