28th October 2020

When QUT student Cody was in Year 12 he was not sure what he wanted to do after school. He got good grades but had never thought of himself as a ‘high achiever’. But when he spoke to teachers and his school’s guidance counsellor, he was advised he might be eligible for a university scholarship.

“The school guidance counsellor asked me ‘what subjects do you enjoy’? I always liked maths and physics because I enjoyed the problem-solving and hands-on learning, so I got good grades in those subjects,” Cody said.

“The counsellor and I explored my options, which led me to a dual degree in engineering and IT and opened my eyes to scholarship opportunities.

“There was a bunch of people who I considered smarter than me at school and so I had never thought of myself as someone who would get a scholarship. But I applied anyway – it was really quick and easy.”

Cody’s hard work throughout Year 12 paid off and he was offered multiple scholarships and had his pick of universities.

“QUT wasn’t initially my first preference, but my older brother went there so I snuck into some lectures. My brother and his uni friends told me their study was a really hands-on experience, which sounded cool, so I made QUT my first preference,” Cody said.

“It also turned out that QUT offered me the best scholarship – it was for $30,000.”

Cody said there were also lots of non-monetary benefits to having a scholarship – such as networking opportunities.

“At the start of my degree I got invited to a camp with other scholarship students. I was nervous to go because I didn’t know anybody, but I went anyway and it turned out to be a great decision.

“I met lots of like-minded people who were passionate about the same things as me. The camp helped me settle into uni life and gave me the confidence to become a QUT STEM Student Ambassador.

“My ambassador role is a paid job. I get to help with STEM for Schools workshops and work with high school students who are considering a career in STEM. It is really rewarding.

“I find out about lots of great opportunities through networking. For example, I applied for QUT’s Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES) and I am about to start work experience on a robotic automation research project with QUT Professor Moe Thandar Wynn.”

Hard work and taking chances opened doors for Cody. Despite all the challenges 2020 brought, he has thrived in his second year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Information Technology.

QUT Marketing and Recruitment Associate Director Leanne Cain said “Cody’s story reminds us that there are many scholarships available which are quick and easy to apply for – but far too often students miss out because they think they won’t be eligible. My advice? Just apply!”


Cody’s top 4 tips for high school students:

Keep your options open

“I was very indecisive, so in Year 10 I picked subjects which would leave my options open and in Year 12 I applied for double degrees so I could always drop one of the degrees if it I didn’t like it. Having choices really helped with my confidence.”

Get help deciding

“I wasn’t putting in as much effort as I could in the start of high school. But my teachers told me if I studied a little harder, I would do a lot better – so I did, and I started getting higher grades. Even though I was doing well, I still was not sure what I wanted to do so I got advice from people like my brother and my guidance counsellor. It is okay not to be sure about what you want to do – it is hard to make big decisions on your own, so ask for help.”

Pursue your passion

“If you are not sure what you want to do after school – ask yourself ‘what am I good at?’ and ‘what do I enjoy?’ Those two little questions helped my pursue a degree I enjoy, and I have no doubt will one day lead me to a career I’m passionate about.”

Work hard

“If you try and you work hard, good things will happen. I don’t consider myself naturally gifted, but I worked hard, and it got me to where I am now. I’m a scholarship student, studying something I’m passionate about and working with people who inspire and challenge me.”


Has Cody’s story convinced you to check out scholarships? Explore QUT scholarships here: https://www.qut.edu.au/study/fees-and-scholarships/scholarships

Like Cody, do you need a little help deciding what to do after school? Contact QUT’s career advisors: https://www.qut.edu.au/study/need-advice


Media contact: 
Bronte Davy, QUT Media, 3138 1842 
After hours, Rose Trapnell, QUT Media team leader, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au



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