Nicola Westerman knew she wanted a future career building things even as a five-year-old prep student.
The 2022 Warwick State High School graduate recounts how during a prep class exercise, she wrote down that she wanted to build either bridges or wedding dresses when she grew up.
Her prep teacher was able to keep that written note and hand it back to Nicola when she finished Year 10 at Allora State School. It was the same year Nicola interned at the global engineering company GHD, an experience that further cemented her desire to help create the buildings of the future.
It is no surprise that Nicola will realise her dream through her choice to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with University of Southern Queensland.
Nicola is one of many new students starting their university career this semester. She is also a 2023 recipient of the University of Southern Queensland Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship.
Receiving the stipend-based scholarship has allowed Nicola to pursue her childhood dream a year earlier than planned.
She had intended on spending this year working and saving to fund the cost of moving from Warwick, her home town, closer to campus.
“It’s a really big help,” she said.
“It’s meant that I’ve moved straight into my studies, which is really useful.”