1. Stepping outside your comfort zone
“Before I started university, I considered myself a reserved person. I didn’t take up leadership positions in high school because I lacked the confidence, and I didn’t know what would be required of me, so it was easier just to fly under the radar,” says Heath Manning, 2021 Westpac Scholar.
“When university started and I was awarded a Young Technologists Scholarship, I realised I was missing out on so many opportunities due to my reservedness and something had to change. Knowing Westpac Scholars Trust saw my potential and was willing to support me, I pushed myself to explore new opportunities and leave my comfort zone.
“As part of the Disruptive Leaders Program in Sydney, I put myself to the test by practicing my public speaking and taking on leadership roles while with other Young Tech Scholars. With the support of the Westpac Scholars Trust, I can now focus more of my energy on university, getting involved in co-curricular activities and enhancing my leadership skills.”
2. Becoming more confident
“Upon receiving the news that I would become a Westpac Young Technologists Scholar, I felt excited and a little nervous,” says 2022 Westpac Scholar Joshua Lam. “I was excited about the adventure leading into my first year of university, but I was nervous because I had no idea how to network.”
“A huge and unexpected highlight I experienced is that the Westpac Young Tech Scholarship has enabled me to build charisma and the confidence to seek and build new relationships.
“Despite being introverted, the networking events that Westpac Scholars Trust organises always leave me feeling inspired. These events push me to build and grow my confidence and challenge my personality, something that will not only be crucial throughout my career but in my personal life as well.”
3. Speaking opportunities
“My favourite experience of 2022 was presenting with the Head of Information Systems at Queensland University of Technology Open Day,” says Lucas Ferriera, 2021 Westpac Scholar.
“I was asked to present to a lecture theatre full of parents and prospective students about my journey as an undergraduate IT student. I didn’t apply or volunteer to speak. Instead, a member of the marketing team, whom I had worked with during a Westpac Scholars Trust photoshoot reached out to ask if I was interested in the opportunity.
“It was amazing to see a connection I had made with the help of Westpac Scholars Trust turned into an amazing opportunity to represent QUT (and WST) to over 500 prospective students and parents who listened to the IT seminar.”
4. Becoming a tutor
“Another amazing opportunity I have had is joining the Programming Principles teaching team as a tutor.” Lucas continued.
“I really wanted to try teaching in a university setting before completing my degree but was unsure on how to accomplish my goal. I was very fortunate to have the guidance of another Westpac Scholar who was already teaching. She was able to outline the steps and requirements that I would need to fulfil in order to be considered for a teaching position. Thanks to her generous help, I now teach three classes a week and am loving it.”
5. Building genuine friendships
“Another unexpected gift that’s arisen from the Young Tech Scholarship is the fantastic group of people who I proudly call friends,” says Joshua Lam.
“At the beginning of my journey, I thought that networking with other people was just a way to get a new LinkedIn connection or another Facebook friend, but now I know that it’s so much more.
“I am so grateful for the group of friends I have within the Young Tech Scholar community, and I love the support we all provide for each other and most importantly, the fun memories we share." He said.
Erin Lumsden added: “Its daunting being in a STEM degree with only 8 or so girls in a lecture of 100 people, so being able to meet like-minded girls who attend my university has really helped to extend my friendship group.”
6. Instant study support
“Having established friendships with fellow Young Tech Scholars, I have also found that they provide positive input into my university studies,” says Joshua Lam.
“Having other scholars share the same course as myself whether that be in the same year or above, searching for help and guidance has never been easier. From a simple text message or a physical discussion, the support I have received from my fellow scholars has been incredibly valuable.”
Applications are now open, so if you’ve got big ideas for the future and want to make a difference, apply for a Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship now.
Published 19 September 2023