How a fresh mindset got Ibrahim back on track.

Ibrahim says, "I want to do the best I can in everything because I have a long-term goal.”
Ibrahim says, "I want to do the best I can in everything because I have a long-term goal.”

Experience has taught Ibrahim Chaniago that there’s a right time for everything. He first commenced university in 2016, after completing his HSC, but something just wasn’t right. “I guess I wasn’t in the right mindset at the time,” he says. He took a break from study, then after a few years of valuable work and life experience, enrolled in the Diploma of IT at UTS College. He says, “I chose UTS College because of its connection to UTS. People I knew who went to UTS and had been to UTS College rated it highly. It felt like the right decision.”

Interesting perspectives help you think differently
Ibrahim found he brought a new outlook to his diploma studies. “This time I had the mindset that I really had to try,” he says. “At UTS College, you get to study with people from all over the world, and not everybody has an opportunity like that. I got interesting perspectives from international students. A friend from Bangladesh said to me, ‘I want to aim for HDs so I can go work and support my family.’ Friends like him were inspirational. It makes you think differently. You start to appreciate the value of education.”

Ibrahim’s biggest inspiration is his father. “Dad worked his tail off to get where he is. He came here at a young age as an immigrant from Indonesia and it was really about survival for him. Now he’s put me and my brothers in a position where we can take all the opportunities that come to us. It took me a while, but now I understand he worked his whole life for that.”

A shock win
His new outlook served Ibrahim well, and he graduated from UTS College with the Outstanding Graduate award for the Diploma of IT. The award is a generous cash prize that goes to the student graduating with the highest grade-point-average (GPA) in their diploma group.  For Ibrahim, the news of the win was a shock. He says, “I didn’t even know there was a prize until I got the email. I had to double-check that it wasn’t spam before I told anyone.” Ibrahim’s family was very proud of his achievement. “They were really happy. I think because it’s been a long time coming, and now I’m back on track with my studies,” he says. “There wasn’t a lot of fuss because I don’t really like big celebrations. It was enough for me to know they were happy.”

Developing important skills and confidence
Ibrahim’s experiences at UTS College helped him develop important skills and confidence. “Even though I’d done a lot of the subjects before, the way they were taught in my diploma course stuck with me,” he says. “Our tutors checked in on us all the time. It wasn’t just about passing the subject. It was more like, ‘Are you doing this right?’ They wanted to make sure we were really learning. I appreciated that a lot.”

Now preparing to enter second year of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at UTS, Ibrahim says he feels completely ready for university. “It may have been a long time coming,” he says, “but I’m so glad I’m in the right mindset now. I think you need the drive to get more than just marks. My sights are on getting a job in the field, not just getting an HD on a test. I want to do the best I can in everything because I have a long-term goal.”

Job-ready skills
When he completes his degree, Ibrahim is looking forward to finding work in the IT industry. “I’m already researching that, and I know the skills I’ve learned so far will help me get there. I look through job listings and find myself saying, ‘Okay, these are some things I was studying just a few months ago,’” he says. “I’m interested in all aspects of IT, but I really want to get into Blockchain. It’s where exciting things are happening right now.”

For students starting out at UTS College, Ibrahim has aa tip. He says, “You really need to set aside time to study. It’s not just lectures and tutorials – they’re the bare minimum. Read the subject outline because it’s legit. If they advise the extra hours you need to study, follow that and you’ll be fine. That’s how you’ll get the grades you want.”