Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Jess Rock
Jess Rock

Meet Jess

Fourth Year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Software

What do you study?

4th year, studying Software Engineering

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

I have always had a love for maths and science, particularly the feeling of satisfaction that comes with solving a difficult problem. I was inspired to study engineering knowing that my career would be centred around solving problems to assist people and make life easier.

Why did you choose the discipline you are studying?

I really enjoyed the software courses I was taking at the beginning of my degree and the immediacy in which you could see results from small changes in code. There are also so many options within software engineering. As technology advances, programming is not restricted to engineering firms alone, as most industries now require some form of software development. This allows for a lot of flexibility.

What is one thing about university or engineering that you wished you knew earlier?

I wish I was more aware that everyone around me felt the same as I did. It is completely okay to feel overwhelmed. It is fine to not know which discipline you want to pursue. Everyone in first year is just like you, starting something unfamiliar and having the same doubts and uncertainties as you. There is plenty of support available, all you need to do is ask. The sooner you put yourself out there and meet new people, the better your university experience will be.

What made you pick engineering at the University of Queensland over other universities?

I really appreciated UQ’s reputation within Engineering particularly. UQ also has a lot of pathways within the Bachelor of Engineering degree so there is a lot of opportunity to select a discipline and discover an avenue that you are passionate about.

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

Get involved! It is so easy to get caught up in the stress and unfamiliar environment you’ve thrown yourself into. Join societies, play a sport (even if you haven’t played before, start with a social team), attend events and say yes to opportunities to socialise with people (even if it’s a little daunting). It will give you the chance to meet people and give you some time amongst study to have fun.

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

I am fascinated by the progression of robotics, particularly in the interpretation and expression of human emotion. Pepper, a Japanese robot was a pretty big step in engineering in my opinion. Programming a robot to recognise human emotions and make conversation is incredibly challenging and just the beginning of what we will be able to do with such technologies.

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

I would love to work as a Software Engineer for Boeing when I graduate, developing technologies that help make life easier, keep people safe and have a positive impact on the world.

What do you hope to achieve as a WE student leader?

Before university I didn’t properly understand what engineering was and how vast the opportunities within the industry were. I hope to help people gain an understanding of the field and where they could fit into it, as well as encourage and support first year students through the beginning of their degree. Throughout my degree I have been a part of a minority with such a low percentage of women in the software discipline. I want to inspire and assure young women that there is a place for them in this industry and encourage diversity within the profession.