Thesya learns the benefits of challenging herself.

“Never struggle alone,” says Diploma of IT Outstanding Graduate Thesya.
“Never struggle alone,” says Diploma of IT Outstanding Graduate Thesya.

“If I describe my UTS College life in a metaphor,” says Diploma of IT Outstanding Graduate award winner Thesya Evania Gabrielle, “it’s like I was chasing a train. At first, I never thought I’d catch up, but I kept going, and then I got this prize.” The UTS College Outstanding Graduate award is a cash prize given to the student who achieves the highest Grade-Point Average (GPA) overall in their diploma program. For Thesya and her family, the news of her success was a complete surprise. “I was shocked,” she says. “I didn’t expect the email because I didn’t know this prize existed. I didn’t expect any of this. Finding out I won was amazing!”
Having recently entered second year of Bachelor of Computing Science at UTS, Thesya has been studying from her home in Indonesia since the beginning of her diploma course. “When borders reopen, I want to go to Australia to complete my studies. I’ve been to Australia, and I like the culture there. The people were very nice. I remember how friendly strangers helped me find my way around and showed me how to use the right transport,” she says. “And if I get homesick, it’s not too far from my country.” Growing up in Surakata (known locally as ‘Solo’) in Central Java, Thesya hadn’t originally seen her future in IT and never studied the subject in high school. She says, “When considering my career, I realized I wanted to challenge myself and I chose it because it’s a broad field. Everybody nowadays uses IT, or something related to it.”
Degrees that are practical and employment-focused
After deciding to study in Australia, Thesya quickly set her sights on UTS. “I wanted to study there because it’s a high-ranking university with degrees that are practical and employment-focused. It’s not just all theory. UTS College was the same,” she says. “They gave me a lot of knowledge to reach my goal of studying at UTS. I learnt skills in IT, like programming and business modelling. I learnt to do things with data, and how to build an app. But my diploma course gave me other important skills too, like communication and research. I also did workshops that helped with time management, listening skills, and reading skills.” She also found time for extracurricular activities. “I joined the ‘Crafternoon’ club. One time, I got to make a pom-pom!”
Even though she was studying from home, Thesya says her experience at UTS College was memorable. “I met different people; people from different countries who gave me a new perspective. I think it opened my mind to different ways to view things and solve problems. Every day was important for me. I made lots of friends doing the group work and we learnt to share our difficulties and help each other out.”
Support always available
Thesya also appreciates that support was always available from the College. She says, “I remember in my second semester I struggled with time-management. The College support was very helpful. Without their support services I might still be struggling! I found out about a workshop, and I attended it every week. Now I have a calendar. I put sticky notes on it and write all my assignments. And just to make sure I don’t procrastinate I use Google Calendar to time-block my day. Every day I make a schedule and time block, and I tick things off when they’re done. Really, UTS College has so many facilities to help us.”
Entrepreneurial plans
She says her diploma prepared her very well for UTS, where she wants to specialise in data analytics and artificial intelligence. “When I graduate, I want to get a job of course. But in time I want to build a tech start-up in my home country. COVID has forced may people to lose their jobs in Indonesia. I want to make a job opportunity for them, and I want to make change,” Thesya says.
Always speak up
When asked how others can make the most of their time at UTS College, she advises, “Make sure you listen to the lectures, participate in tutorials and do your assignments. And if you’re studying online, it’s better for you to open the camera and try to speak up, even if you’re shy like I was.”
Above all, Thesya says to make friends and remember to ask for help when you need it. “Your friends really, really help you. It’s no good to struggle alone. I did that at first, but when I spoke up, I discovered that all my friends were struggling with the same things. And try to use all the facilities UTS College gives you. It’s all very useful – HELPS, the workshops, everything.”