Inside the Career – Episode Five: Engineering – student perspective (Kyle Shears and Andrew Wickens)

“With mechanical engineering, everything is very practical. A lot of what you learn can be very easily applied. Often lecturers will come up with a somewhat abstract theoretical idea and then they will bring in [an example of] where you may use that in the real world, whether that’s airplane wings or how internal combustion engines work.” (Kyle Shears)

Kyle Shears and Andrew Wickens graduated from Westlake in 2017 and are each now in their third years of study at Auckland University, both working towards degrees in engineering. Kyle’s specialisation is mechanical engineering, conjoint with commerce, while Andrew is specialising in mechanical science.

Hearing reflections and insights from two students, still very much in the throes of their tertiary studies, our listeners will gain an acute sense of the challenge and vigour, but equally, the enjoyment and satisfaction that this demanding pathway offers. Andrew and Kyle articulate some of the key pressure points each have faced so far, such as the significant jump in expectation and intensity from stage one to stage two engineering.

The interview concludes with their thoughts and hopes for the future; Kyle’s dream job would have something to do with cars, perhaps working for a race-team, while Andrew is gravitating more towards software engineering and data-science.

It’s hard, but it’s supposed to be hard…and the pro is that I really love it! You are definitely put through your paces…the speed [of learning] really goes up, which is good, because then you get used to picking things up really fast and that forces you to not only investigate things that you don’t understand but, also, to reinforce things which you do.” (Andrew Wickens)

Andrew and Kyle

Relevant links:

The University of Auckland Faculty of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering at The University of Auckland

Engineering Science at The University of Auckland

Mechanical Engineering at The University of Canterbury

The University of Auckland engineering students’ blog

Washington Accord

Build a satellite challenge

Formula SAE