Hayden Razzell

Hayden Razzell

Hayden Razzell

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2013
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Software Engineering
  • Minor(s): Software engineering

Why did you choose Monash?

The main reason was Monash’s amazing Industry Based Learning program, where students can spend a semester working for a company in the IT industry. I saw this program as a great opportunity to gain real world industry experience and make myself as employable as possible upon graduating.

Monash also has a great IT faculty, and after talking to some current Monash students about how well designed their Computer Science courses were and how much they were enjoying them, I decided Monash was the place for me.

What attracted you to IT?

I’ve always had an affinity to technology and problem solving so I took Computing in high school, where I learnt to code. I loved the challenge of designing algorithms and the excitement I got when they worked. Confucius said to choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Luckily I think I’ve found one.

What made you choose the specialisation/major you studied?

I started at Monash doing a Bachelor of Computer Science, but at an industry information night, one of the recruiters asked me if I’d looked into the Bachelor of Software Engineering. He thought it might more appropriately fit my desired career path. After doing some more research into the BSE and finding out that I could do honours in my fourth year and that I’d graduate as a qualified engineer, I decided to make the switch. Monash made switching degree very simple and I didn’t lose any time as my BCS units carrier over to the BSE.

Tell us about what you studied – What was it? What did it involve? What did you actually do?

I studied Software Engineering. The general idea of the course is to teach you design software, which involves a lot smaller skills. We’ve learned everything from coding, algorithm design, teamwork, design strategies, math and even project management. We spent a lot of time learning the best ways to design software, as well as practising different types of languages. We also learnt a lot about the technology behind computer systems and how they work.

What was the favourite thing about the field you studied?

We were always working in teams. It was great being able to learn from other students and there was a lot of camaraderie involved in all of our group projects. You also make great friends and that makes uni such a great time of your life.

Which IT facility are you most impressed with and why?
The Internet speed at Uni. It’s insanely fast. I’m talking Gigabits here.

Apart from study, what else were you involved in both at Monash and off campus? (Paid work, sport, clubs, hobbies etc)?

I worked part time at Subway which has been a good way to pay my Uni fees while studying. I was also a member of the Monash Club of Juggling and Fire-twirling. We met weekly to practise, hang out and play with fire.

Other clubs I was involved in are the Monash Debaters Association which holds weekly practice meets and the International Affairs Society who hold a variety of events and send members to Model United Nations summits around the world.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?

My research trip to the San Diego Supercomputer Centre. I was accepted into the Monash Undergraduate Research Projects Abroad (MURPA) program, for which I spent two months in San Diego working with data scientists to develop a web portal that researchers could use to access the various supercomputer clusters and also processing resources on the Amazon EC2 cloud.

The project was an amazing experience and I learnt more than I could have imagined. The trip was fully funded by Monash and it was a great opportunity to work with cutting edge technology and travel around California at the same time.

What is the best thing about being a student at Monash?

Definitely the high quality of the teaching staff. All of our lecturers are experts in the field and they put a lot of effort into making sure us students get as much out of every course as possible. Even though they’re very busy, my lecturers took the time to thoroughly answer my questions, help me with any trouble I had with assignments, and even discuss how my course was going and recommend opportunities such as the MURPA program.

What advice do you have for prospective students starting uni next year?

Spend time researching different universities, and get as much advice from your family, teachers and course advisers as you can on which course to take and where. Although you can always switch degree, it’s a big advantage to make the right decision first try. But with that said, do something you love because life’s too short to be unhappy.

What do you hope to do after graduating?

I’m aiming to get into a summer internship program with an IT company and ideally be hired by them the following year. I want to get into industry as fast as possible because the technology world is always changing.