The idea of pursuing a flexible double degree which would open up diverse career prospects made Arlene Mendoza leave her hometown of Perth and relocate to Canberra.
“The flexible double degree program allows you to pursue what you want without too many limitations. I have been able to experience multiple industries during my time at university, which has set me up well for the future.”
Arlene, who is undertaking a Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Finance double degree, was initially unaware of the systems engineering approach but is now very glad she chose this degree.
“Now that I am in my fifth year, I have realised that this degree is geared for the future. It encourages group work and allows you to pursue your interests.”
“My initial perception was that ANU is an old and traditional university. Now, I have realised that it is a university that is open to change and keeps up with the world."
Arlene says that choosing ANU is more than just getting a degree. The internships she has completed, and her association with various ANU clubs has given her various experiences that have helped her develop professionally.
“I’ve been able to gain internships from consulting, working at the ABC, and on defence projects. Having real life work experience really opens you up to more professional networks.”
Formerly the President of RoboGals Canberra, Arlene was also the Race Team Leader for Sol Invictus, the university’s World Solar Challenge team.
“University is a time to explore and try new things. It is an entire experience that you have to immerse yourself in to get the most out of it.”
Arlene was surprised at how approachable the ANU academics and staff were. The smaller class sizes at ANU also encouraged her to work closely with academics.
“You’re able to build a relationship with academics that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. Being in smaller classes means that you get to know everyone and be able to lend a helping hand.”
Arlene agrees that Canberra is the perfect student town. Her transition to the city was very easy as Canberra is relatively small, and most things are closeby.
“It is very easy to get around, be it walking, riding your bike, or taking public transport. All the important things like banks and health services are also super understanding because it isn’t uncommon for students to be from interstate or overseas.”
“Canberra offers anything and everything. From the cricket to Canberra’s very own Floriade.”
Being in Canberra has also proved to be advantageous for Arlene’s career.
“Since we are located in Canberra, the hub of government and particularly defence, there are many opportunities in this space. I will be taking a graduate position with a defence company when I graduate.”
Arlene’s advice to future students would be to try new things and experience everything that ANU and Canberra have to offer.
“Start fresh! Don’t be afraid to go out and explore."