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During the day Hollie Acres lives and works full time in Sydney, her evenings are spent studying in Victoria. Off campus and online study options give her the flexibility to undertake combined Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of IT degrees alongside work commitments.
This recent IGNITED scholarship winner (Initiative for a Girls’ Network in Information Technology & Engineering @ Deakin) says her lifestyle dictated her choice of studying via correspondence. “Deakin’s set up is fantastic for me. I log onto the internet and all the material I need is there, or it gets sent out to me. The structure and the way the course is set out works for me.”
“I did a lot of searching online for courses and Deakin was the only university I could find that would let me do engineering via correspondence. Correspondence lets me stay working full time and living in Sydney,” she says.
Hollie says her study options work in with her lifestyle, this year she is sitting her exams in Zurich. “My partner is working in Zurich for a few months and I am going to visit him. The only time I can go is during exam time and Deakin is letting me sit my exams there. You don’t get that flexibility with other unis.”
Hollie has always had an interest in mechanical things; she rides a motorbike and pulls it to pieces quite happily. “I like to know how things work. I took maths and science at school and they made sense to me, so engineering was a natural progression.”
Her interest in IT was sparked while at high school. “I was bored during the holidays and my Dad (he’s a computer programmer) gave me a Visual Basic book and I started learning that. I like programming in my spare time.”
Hollie says the combination of engineering and IT skills will create many different opportunities for her when she graduates. She is also in the Army Reserves, creating yet more possibilities.