Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Sophie Bates
Sophie Bates

Meet Sophie

Third Year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Software

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

Throughout high school I was drawn towards subjects like Maths and Physics, as I enjoyed problem solving very much. From a young age, I knew my tertiary studies would almost certainly lie in a STEM field. I have always admired the role of engineers in our society, and how critical they are across all areas of life. This impact is something that I knew I wanted to be involved with.

Why did you choose the specialisation you are studying?

I love understanding how things work and have always been fascinated by modern technology. I studied an Information Technology subject throughout high school, and always felt huge satisfaction after finishing a difficult or time-consuming coding project. I also loved having a final, working product to show for all my hard work. This love of coding and technology made the decision to study Software Engineering very easy for me. I knew being familiar and comfortable with technology would soon be a critical skill, and that I would be potentially able to work in huge range of different fields – not just for tech and engineering companies!

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

You may look around in your first year of Uni and think that everyone else knows exactly what’s going on, but that’s not the case! I wish I knew earlier that no one is an expert when they start their degree, and most other students feel the exact same as you - nervous and probably quite unsure of themselves. This means that it’s so important to allow yourself to make mistakes and not shy away from new experiences or challenges.

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

I chose to study at UQ for multiple reasons, one of which being the flexible first year that it offered. I knew that if I didn’t connect with my chosen specialisation, I could easily try others from any of the multiple engineering pathways. This gave me a real sense of security and reduced any unnecessary stress that I had starting university. Not to mention UQ’s gorgeous campus and facilities as well!

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

Join clubs and societies! It’s an awesome way to meet other like-minded students in your field, or friends that you can form study groups with. Further down the track, being part of societies will also be great for networking opportunities too and may help you land valuable work experience!

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

The concept of smart infrastructure is something that never fails to amaze me. Having a grid network of roads, vehicles and other utilities would improve sustainability, efficiency and overall enhance the quality of life for citizens. The possibilities of this technological development are limitless.

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

My dream job is working as a Software Developer anywhere that I can continue to learn every day! I love the positive environment and company culture of start-ups, while I’m also so inspired by the incredible projects of the big tech companies. In short, I’m open to working anywhere! Eventually, I would love for my job to take me all over the world, and it is my dream to one day develop software that can have a meaningful impact on its user’s lives, or our society as a whole.

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

I am passionate about gender equality, and I can’t wait to share my love of engineering with other likeminded young women. As a WE student leader, it is my goal to encourage aspiring engineers to pursue their passions. Or, potentially introduce them to the prospect of studying engineering, as they may never had the confidence to consider it before.