I've always had an interest in computers. In Year 12, I looked into a lot of IT degrees, however most of them had a strong focus on Maths, which I didn't enjoy at high school. When I found out about the BIT course at a careers evening, and found out there was no maths subjects, I was sold. I applied the next day for the interview and was lucky enough to be selected to be in the course.
The focus of this course is on how to manage IT within an organisation, which is vital for the "future leaders of the IT industry". Students study core subjects relating to all facets of the IT sphere - think networking, project management, programming and requirements gathering. This holistic view ensures that when you graduate you understand everything there is to know about IT.
My first industry placement was at Unilever, a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company. Although I had only completed one semester of university, they gave me business-critical work to assist with and I felt like I was making an important contribution to the company. Further on in my placement, they sent me to New Zealand to gather requirements for a project without anyone realising that I was a student. I think I must have done a good job during my industry placement, as I worked part-time as a Business Analyst at Unilever whilst completing my second year of university!
My second industry placement was at IBM Global Business Services - the consulting arm of IBM. I arranged for my placement to be undertaken in Melbourne, so I spent six months with clients such as ANZ that would not have necessarily been available to me if I was working in Sydney. As this was my final year placement, ANZ gave me responsibilities that were equal or greater to graduates - I developed an entire new automated Test Metrics system for them; and it is still being used for the project today.
You don't have to be a 'nerd' to do IT. There are so many people within IT who have varying interests. I like going out and I used this to my advantage by being selected to be on the executive for the Bachelor of IT Group (BiG), a club run mainly by BIT students. They host a variety of 'non-nerdy" events throughout the year, such as cruises, balls and parties.
There are also so many other extracurricular activities available to students. I also participated in Young Achievement Australia as the Managing Director for the Aiya team. We screen printed t-shirts and we sold so many that we were able to give the shareholders who invested money in our project a return of over 350%.
Being a part of the BIT opens up so many opportunities with organisations before you graduate. I was offered a graduate role with Deloitte in their Online Practice service line at the start of my final year - which ensured I wouldn't be panicking about a graduate role when I had finished my degree. This wasn't a unique case either, most, if not all, of BIT students are offered graduate roles before they graduated.