Nick Wotton

Why did you choose to study at the University of Waikato?

I thought about engineering and was going to study in Auckland but that plan was quickly cast aside when I saw the opportunity to study in Tauranga at the new CBD campus which would allow me to live at home and bike into uni daily. Receiving a 'Ko Te Tangata' School Leaver Scholarship was a plus!

You started your studies early with the Jump Start summer programme, how was that?

I was one NCEA credit short in physics so I enrolled in the Jump Start programme and took the General Physics and Mathematics for Engineers paper in four weeks over summer. Completing that paper meant I could start and continue the year in Tauranga without having to do a make-up course alongside my first-year papers.

Jump Start was a good refresher for everything I’d forgotten from school. I’d highly recommend the programme to students who need extra credit or just want to get a head start on their studies. It gave me a confidence boost and an idea of what to expect from uni.

Is university what you expected it would be?

When I started at the Tauranga campus it was different than I expected. The small classes made it feel more personal than school and we got to know the lecturers really well. I also made great friends in Tauranga who now, essentially, all live together in the same flat in Hamilton.

The second-year subjects are definitely a step-up so it’s nice living with the people you study with so that when you need help you can just walk to the next room and ask a question.

What is your favourite subject?

231 Geotechnical Engineering - due to the fact that this subject is quite close to what I feel I will actually be doing in the real work. Also, any paper taught by Dr Chanelle Gavin last year as she is amazing.

What are your plans once you’ve completed your degree?

Eventually, I hope to become an engineer and work in a firm possibly back in Tauranga. Most of the companies I have visited, such as Lysaght and Beca, seem interested in multisport and other outdoor activities and they enter events together which sounds pretty cool to me.

What do you love about Waikato?

I like that I was able to live at home in Tauranga for the first year while I studied at the Tauranga campus. I like that Hamilton is still close enough for my family to visit.

What’s your number one tip for making the most of uni life?

Attend all the university and WSU-run events and parties! I won so many things just because I showed up. My friends and I went to all the pub quizzes and parties and dressed up in theme. It’s so much more fun when you dress up and go hard.

What’s a quirky fact about you?

There's a couple. I have had multiple Aquathlon (swim run) national placements (two seconds and a third) for a few years in a row at both the age group and the youth national champs - U14 x 2, and U16.

At a Mexican fiesta party over in Tauranga, I won the catwalk competition. It was a dance/walk down the main runway area in a bar to a song. My friend Dharna and I both chose songs by Lizzo. I mostly attribute my win to the split I did half way down the runway. So, I can do the splits!

Nick Wotton

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