Meet Jess, actor to engineer
My name is Jessica Massih, I’m a third year Civil and Environmental Engineering student at UTS.
What drew me to UTS was the diverse culture and the many opportunities that it has to offer.
Especially for engineering, it really sort of set itself apart from the other universities with its Diploma Program, the Professional Engineering practice.
So that means that I get to have a year’s worth of experience before I even finish my degree.
Before I came to university I was actually on a very different path! In high school I had a really strong passion for drama and music, I was part of the school choir, every single musical there was, I was in it.
I initially went through the audition process for NIDA and made it all the way through, and then when it came to actually choosing a university to go to, I got a phone call from UTS saying that my second preference – which was Civil and Environmental Engineering – that I had gotten early entry into it.
So I had a bit of a choice to make, I knew I wanted to make a difference, I knew that I wanted to help other people. It was as simple as knowing that there was a problem and finding a solution and then my dad pointed out that that’s exactly what an engineer does!
I think a lot of people say, you know, engineering is very male-dominated, and there are problems with people who question your authority, especially being a female, and a young one too in the industry.
But at university I found a really great support network, especially through Women in Engineering and IT.
I joined the volunteering program in my first year and so many opportunities have come out of that. I knew that what I wanted to do required me to step out of my comfort zone and it gave me the courage knowing that I had a support network behind me to do that.
That really gives me that motivation and the drive to be like ‘well, if she can do it, then so can I” and that was definitely something that I got out of Women in Engineering and IT.
It too as to let people say you’re not going to do, you’re not going to be able to achieve that because you’re female. You’re not going to be able to achieve that because you’re too young for this, because you’re not the right person for it and I would always say “why not? Why aren’t I the right person for it?”
Or even better “watch me do this now!”
The Faculty established an Equity and Diversity Committee in 2017.
Throughout 2018 we will profile current staff and students, and some of our alumni, whose experiences and achievements help communicate our commitment to the principles of social inclusion.
We look at broadening access to the engineering and IT industries with a focus on women in different roles throughout the Faculty.
First up is Jessica Massih, a Civil and Environmental Engineering student and President of ActivateUTS! She describes the reason she chose to study engineering at UTS and the support and opportunities she finds her.
If you - or someone you know – would be interested in highlighting their pathway to UTS and their experience here please let us know.