When Bryan Guntoro found out he’d won the Outstanding Graduate award for achieving the highest Grade-Point Average in his Diploma of IT course at UTS Insearch, there weren’t many options available for a celebration. NSW was going into home lockdown and parties were out of the question. Instead, he celebrated over the phone with his proud mother in Indonesia.
Entrepreneurial ideals with passion for IT
The world of IT has fascinated Bryan since his high school days, and he decided at an early age that he would follow his cousins to study at UTS. He began UTS Foundation Studies in Sydney soon after finishing Year 10 in Jakarta, with his eyes on a Diploma of IT as a pathway to UTS, where he has now commenced second year of his Bachelor of IT.
His passion for the subject is based on a firm belief that technology that can change all our lives for the better. With his strong entrepreneurial streak, Bryan has already hatched some ideas for apps that he believes will help create jobs for others in the future. He’s a great admirer of Steve Jobs, whose achievements help him see limitless possibilities. “He inspires me,” he says. “The way he engineered technology to create something like the iPhone – he made his ideas real and turned them into something people love."
Settling into Sydney
Although he was clear about what he wanted to do, Bryan found it challenging to leave his home to study abroad when he was just 16 years old. He says, “I was definitely homesick. Even though my older brother and my uncle were here, I missed my parents. It was hard to adapt to college life in my first year after high school. Everything was so different. Even taking the train was hard at first."
The lively social environment at UTS Insearch made a world of difference, and he soon found himself settling in. “I met so many friends,” he says. “There were a lot of events all through the year – things like Halloween – and they were always fun. It was really social. I joined a basketball club too, and that helped relieve the stress from assignments and stuff. And UTS Insearch has a lot of group work, which I love. The group work got me interested in boosting my leadership skills."
Studying through COVID-19
The transition from UTS Insearch to UTS presented an unexpected challenge. It coincided with the university’s switch to online learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
:I still have good interactions with the teachers, and we have individual assignment consultations, but I miss the face-to-face interaction. I think it would all be a lot harder without the preparation I got from UTS Insearch. I learnt to keep myself organised – every day I write out a list of what I need to study, subject-by-subject,” he says.
He believes having good time management and organisational skills are a big help when keeping up with online learning. “There are other skills I use all the time now, like time management, writing skills, and referencing. And my teamwork skills. I’ve been a team leader in most of my group work at UTS, so I’ve been using those skills all the time."
He has a few tips to help students make the most of the opportunities at UTS Insearch. “First of all, stay calm. Don’t get pressured and remember it helps to stay organised. And if you have questions, don’t be scared to ask your teachers – they’re ready to help you. If you need feedback, you can email them."
"A balanced life is important too. You can’t just study and eat and sleep. Also, remember there’s lots of support if you’re struggling in any way. Don’t be scared to ask for help."