Aabir’s Top 5 Tips on BISAS Application

  1. Show your passion for technology within the application
  2. Showcase how you can work as part of a team. This is an important skill to have and develop during your time at uni (and eventually the workplace).
  3. Think of answers to questions that will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
  4. Do some research into emerging trends in IT. There are a lot of interesting implementations of BlockChain, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (to name a few) nowadays and the information is all out there - you just have to find it.
  5. Get someone else to proofread your application - whether it be your parents or a good friend, it is always good to have a second pair of eyes scan over what you’ve written.

Meet Aabir Quazi: IT Graduate System Administrator for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and alumnus of the UNSW Business School Bachelor of Information Systems.

Aabir is fascinated with the tech industry's rapid growth and integration with other industries, and how tech can affect people in more ways than they know. 

In his current role with the RBA Graduate program, Aabir witnessed the launch of real-time payments across multiple financial institutions and enjoyed seeing the instant benefits for pensioners and people making transactions. 

He also enjoyed his time within the RBA's Cybersecurity team.

"Organisations are now realising that informational assets are as valuable, if not more valuable, than physical assets – which interests me as there is always something new on the horizon, whether it be criminal enterprises targeting Financial Services institutions or devastating ransomware attacks such as the WannaCry epidemic which brought organisations across the globe to a standstill," Mr Quazi said.

Aabir landed his current job after successfully completing his degree via the Bachelor of Information Systems Admission Scheme (BISAS) pathway program.

"The Information Systems degree allowed me to delve into wide-ranging IT experiences. It was split between technical and business content which really allows students to build an overarching concept of what it means to be an IT Professional. 

"Coding subjects such as SQL and Java developed my technical and analytical skills whereas subjects such as Enterprise Systems & Business Process Management showed me the transformational nature of Information Systems and how they can aid organisations, no matter what industry they may be in."

Starting an undergraduate degree usually means meeting the ATAR and applying through UAC. However, applications to the BISAS pathway also involve submitting a response to a questionnaire and, if the selection committee is impressed, attending an interview. 

Aabir began his application by paying close attention to the questions and making high-level dot points that he could later expand upon.

"The questions look at how well-rounded you are as an individual so I included all of the ways that I engaged with the wider student community at high school. I also mentioned outside of school commitments such as playing club cricket on weekends. However, the most important factor, in my opinion, is showing that you truly have a passion for IT," Mr Quazi said.

Two days after submitting his application, Aabir was asked to come in for an interview. 

"This was a very exciting time, although I wasn't sure what to expect in the interview and what type of questions I would be asked. I thought that there would a test. In the lead up to the interview, I was stressing quite a bit. However, in the end - the atmosphere was very relaxed which helped to ease my nerves. 

"My interview preparation was split into anticipating behavioural questions as well as general IT trends and topics. There is a wealth of information available online for examples of behavioural questions and I attempted to tie in my answers with what I had written for the questionnaire." 

Aabir's strategy was to bolster his answers with examples from life outside of the classroom. For example, when asked to talk about a time he overcame a difficult situation, he spoke about roadblocks he encountered when performing maintenance on his father's car.

"By conducting further research and engaging with subject matter experts online, I was able to find the root cause of the issue on the car and eventually I was able to remedy the issue. I decided to use this example rather than explain how I overcame a difficult question in an exam or assignment in class."

Aabir also researched the emerging technologies he thought he may study during his degree and spoke about his passion for IT – beginning with when he built his first computer at age 13.

"As someone about to begin their undergraduate degree, no-one is expecting you to be a whizz but if you can demonstrate that you have a passion for technology then that will reflect well on you," Mr Quazi said. 

Aabir made the most of his four-year degree by making it fun: he joined the Business Information Technology Student Association(BITSA) and became its Social Director; he enjoyed tutoring students of Digital Transformation in Business; and he took part in a global business practicum to Tianjin, China.

"It was very interesting to not only see how leading Chinese eCommerce organisations operate but also observe the cultural norms and differences in business practices between China and Australia. 

"I got to know 15 other students in my class and have fun being a tourist. I especially had a lot of fun climbing the Great Wall of China which had been on my bucket list for a long time.

"As a part of the practicum, I also authored a mini-thesis focusing on adoption of ERP software in China and the advantages they posed over their Western counterparts within their domestic market for which I received a mark of High Distinction."

In 2019, BISAS is open to applicants who are expecting to achieve an ATAR between 80.00 and 90.00. For more information on pathway study to Information Systems, including application deadlines, please visit Bachelor of Information Systems Admission Scheme (BISAS)