Duncan Slater is a first-year student studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mining) at UNSW. Duncan received the UNSW Minerals Industry Scholarship which supports recent secondary school graduates commencing the Bachelor of Engineering in Mining at UNSW.
We spoke to Duncan about why he chose to study mining engineering and his involvement in the Sydney Student Chapter of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Which degree are you currently doing and why you choose it?
I am currently studying a Bachelor of Mining Engineering (Honours). I chose to study this degree as UNSW has an exceptional reputation when it comes to engineering, and that it is one of the few universities in NSW that offers the degree. I understand that the mining industry contributes greatly to the Australian economy and that there is a high demand for engineers in this field. Therefore, I chose this degree for the job security it brings, the opportunity to travel and work outdoors, and to equip myself for a career that will still be needed in the future.
Which Scholarship do you hold and what has it meant for you to be awarded this Scholarship?
I currently hold the Undergraduate Industry Scholarship, to be a recipient of this scholarship has given me great comfort knowing that I’ve already got a head start in paying back my hex. It also allows me to reach my financial goals faster whilst ensuring that I perform well in my studies.
How do you think your studies at UNSW will help in your career aspirations?
As well as making me ready for my eventual career as an engineer, the opportunities at UNSW will also prepare me to learn information outside my specific degree, giving me a well-rounded education. Opportunities such as being a part of the AUSIMM student society has already given me the edge in networking with individuals in the industry, allowing me to get my foot in the door before I graduate.
Can you share something about the resources & energy industry that might interest someone considering studies and a career in this industry?
The resources and energy industry needs more people working in it. I am constantly told of the 100% employment rate for students doing my course and continually presented with job opportunities that are so numerous in comparison to other industries. If you want a job that is rewarding, non-monotonous, and in high demand, choose the energy and resources industry. The opportunities to travel and work in the outdoors are particularly good for mining engineers.
What advice would you give to a new/future student on how to excel at your degree?
The journey of one million miles begins with a single step. If you can get the basics right, then you will be able to learn the more complex concepts. So, if you want to do well, start with the end goal in mind, and what goals you have for the future. I’d encourage people to get involved in the societies associated with the Energy and Resources School and to build connections with other university students. For me, having these connections has given me a lot of encouragement and support about where my future will be heading, inspiring me to delve deep into my studies so that I’m well-equipped for the workplace.
What are your favourite things to do in or around UNSW and how can students make the most out of the UNSW Experience?
My favourite things to do in UNSW is getting involved in society work, not just as a participant but as a member. As 1st year representative for the AUSIMM society, I’ve had the chance to share with other students about just how vast the opportunities are in the mining industry. It has been rewarding to see others have their eyes open to the high demand of workers required in this field. Society work has also allowed me to work on skills such as presenting ideas and working in a team environment. Student events are also an excellent way to gain insight into the industry, to create new friends and to have fun!
For more information on the UNSW Minerals Industry Scholarship and to apply, click here. Applications are open until 30/09/2021 for commencement in Term 1 2022.
“If you want a job that is rewarding, non-monotonous, and in high demand, choose the energy and resources industry”