Daniel de Waard

Daniel de Waard

Daniel de Waard

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce Specialist

Why did you choose Monash?

I wanted to study with the best students so I would be pushed by those around me. I was also looking for a university which had a good balance between theoretical and practical course work, and strong industry engagement - all of which Monash offered.

What attracted you to engineering?

From an early age I was interested in making things or figuring out how things worked. After enjoying subjects like physics and maths in high school engineering seemed like a natural fit and a great way to explore maths and physics in a practical, real world way.

What made you choose the specialisation/major you studied?

When I commenced my engineering degree I had no idea of which specialisation I would choose to major in. However, by the end of the common first year and after completing the first year electrical engineering core unit I knew for certain that electrical engineering was for me. I love that electronics is so easy to get started with and to begin creating basic projects, yet is applicable in a hugely diverse set of industries. Ultimately, electrical engineering forms the backbone of many integral aspects of society such as communication and transport.

What was the favourite thing about the field you studied?

My favourite part of my electrical engineering studies are definitely the practical aspects of the course. Any project that requires building or designing something is usually (although often very difficult and time consuming) extremely rewarding and where a great deal of my learning happens. Some particularly cool projects I’ve worked on so far include creating a mobile app and designing and building a rechargeable desk lamp.

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

I keep extremely busy with activities outside of my study. I have a part time job with a local Australian electronics company, Freetronics. Being able to work in the electronics field has really helped me to see how things that we learn at uni are used in the real world. Over the most recent summer holidays I undertook a full time internship at a data analytics company, Quantium, with a couple of other Monash students. I am also part of 180 Degrees Consulting which is a student club at Monash which provides pro-bono consulting work to not for profit organisations. This has been a great way to get to know other Monash students from different degrees and backgrounds. Other things I am involved in include being an Access Monash Ambassador, youth leader at my church and a debating adjudicator. On top of all these activities I even have time to be part of my local soccer club throughout the winter!

What was the highlight of your course?

In first year, one of my (then new) friends suggested that we form a team for a robotics competition run by the Society of Monash Electronics and Electrical Engineers (SMEE). Initially I had no idea what to expect, but after rocking up at Uni early one Saturday morning for the competition I immediately knew that I had made the right choice to accept my friend’s invitation. We had a great weekend hanging out and building robots, something none of us had ever done before. My team ended up defying all the odds to take home first prize. It was a great weekend of fun and learning which definitely reinforced my decision to major in electrical engineering and really helped me to develop those friendships with my new uni mates.

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

Get involved in as many things as you can and make lots of friends. Getting through tough classes at uni is so much easier with friends to help you out. Uni is so much more than your studies, however, doing well in your first few years of uni will definitely help with opening up amazing opportunities you never knew existed.

What do you hope to do after graduating?

My dream job would be to work at an engineering design consultancy such as Planet Innovation - one of Australia's most innovative companies. Working in this field would allow me to combine my engineering skills with the business aspect of my studies, design new products and be challenged to solve new problems and develop new solutions every day.