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Tom Petchell

Tom Petchell

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Mechanical Engineering)

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Choosing to undertake tertiary study is a big decision, and not one that engineering student Tom Petchell took lightly.

Following his final year at St John’s College in 2010, Tom wasn’t sure which direction he wanted to take, so found work for a year in the hospitality industry. In 2011 he decided his future lay in engineering, and undertook NCEA Level 3 calculus via correspondence, to enable him to meet the entry requirements for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours).

“Waikato University offered both a cheap place to live, and a well-recognised and respected degree. On top of this, Waikato offered smaller classes and therefore more access to lecturers.”

Tom says that the model boat design competition in his first year of study, when the School of Engineering comes together for race day was a definite highlight. He also emphasises the numerous other non-academic activities on campus, including speed-interview nights, O week events, clubs days and more.

He urges others to also think carefully about study following school. “Don’t come to university just for something to do.  If you are unsure what path you want to choose, go away, think about it, earn some money, decide, and then come and find out what Waikato can do for you, because the chances are good that they offer an excellent course in it.”


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