Refocussing after a gap year leads student to top the class

UTS Insearch Diploma of IT graduate Dominic Kihas.
UTS Insearch Diploma of IT graduate Dominic Kihas.

Dominic always knew his dream career would be in online game design. He needed to leave behind high school and the HSC for the adventure of a gap year in Europe to spur him on and now has taken out the $5,000 prize for being the Outstanding Graduate in IT at UTS Insearch at the end of 2017.

Dominic struggled with the way traditional schooling was structured and found study hard at school.

“I felt a lack of motivation held me back in the HSC. I did not study for my exams until a few weeks beforehand,” Dominic said.

“You have one system for every single student when everyone learns differently, and there is a massive focus on a few subjects. It was liberating coming to university just to focus on what I liked learning.”

Dominic always wanted to find out more about his distant family who live in the former-Yugoslav region of Eastern Europe. He chose to visit Bosnia during his gap year to meet them and the cultural differences and simple life were a shock.

“My impression is that the people there make the best of what they have, and it's very inspiring considering the hardships they've faced. My family has worked extremely hard to provide a good life for my sister and I in Australia, and this work ethic has definitely now been passed on to the both of us, as evident in my results,” Dominic said.

As the result of his success at UTS Insearch and his strong grades, UTS offered Dominic a place in its exclusive UTS Bachelor of Science in Game Development, which is one of the few degrees in Australia that focuses solely on game design. After finishing his degree, he wants to pursue further study and employment internationally in Germany, Poland or the US.

“UTS Insearch and the Diploma of IT were extremely supportive contextin which to learn and laid the foundation for my UTS study. The teachers and lecturers let you know what you need to do to succeed. However, they also give you room to breathe and move forward in the way you think is best.”