Meet three people whose lives were changed by a uni Open Day

Uni Open Days are more than just a fun day out, attending one could literally change your life! Image: Shutterstock

Think you have your plans all set, and won’t bother attending a university Open Day before enrolling? Read the stories of these three people – whose career paths were totally changed at Open Day – and you might change your mind!

1. Distracted by robots

Hannah Craighead
Hannah enrolled in Victoria University of Wellington’s Bachelor of Engineering with Honours – despite not having a clue how to code.

When Hannah Craighead headed to open day at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, she had her sights set on business degrees – but that’s not how things panned out. After being “completely distracted by some robots” at the engineering booth, Hannah decided to enrol in a Bachelor of Engineering, despite not (yet) having a clue how to code.

Fast-forward and the wannabe business student is now a software developer and machine learning engineer with a Masters in Advanced Computer Science.

We love Hannah’s story because it’s a reminder to follow your passion and interests wherever they lead (yay, robots!), and not to limit yourself just because you’re not an expert in something (yet).

The take away? Go along to Open Day with an open mind – you never know what cool things you’ll discover!

2. Engineering a dream career path

Security consultant and telecommunications engineer Dr Jordan Plotnek is tackling the problem of making sure space hardware can survive serious cyber attacks.

Jordan Plotnek knew he loved coding at school, so he was leaning towards studying IT at uni – but when he talked to open day advisors about all the things he was interested in (like figuring out how an outdoor cinema signal connected to his car radio), they steered him towards engineering as a better fit.

The result? A stellar global career in engineering and cyber security.

The lesson? Don’t miss the opportunity to talk to and learn from people in the know at a university Open Day!

3. Discover a job you’ve never heard of!

occupational health and safety advisor

It’s easy to go along to uni Open Day with knowledge of all the more common degrees – hello Bachelor of Science, IT, Software Engineering, etc. But with so many new and interesting degrees popping up all the time, who knows what cool new courses you’ll discover?

That’s what happened to Candace Bluff who knew next to nothing about Occupational Health and Safety Science as a study option until she discovered it at a University of Queensland Open Day.

Four years of study later, and Candace had an in-demand qualification under her belt, meaning she easily landed a job as safety and hygiene advisor at Rio Tinto.

So when you go along to uni Open Days, don’t be afraid to sidle over to some of the more obscure sounding courses, you might be surprised by how cool they actually sound!


Gemma Chilton

Author: Gemma Chilton

Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.


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