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Thriving in the big smoke

By David Rak

“Focus on your weaknesses and avoid memorising slabs of information.”

That was the message from Seymour College alumni Max Hooper to VCE students as they prepared for exams.

Max, 19, is on his way to a career in engineering after a successful first semester studying advanced manufacturing and mechatronics at RMIT.

Having achieved an ATAR of 90.35, Max knows what it takes to get your first course preference.

“It’s important to find balance and not focus 100 per cent on studying, as it leads to burn out,” Max said.

“I played tenor saxophone in the Mitchell Shire Concert Band, had guitar lessons and played tennis in addition to studying.

‘‘Establish a balance between your lust for life and your school life because that will keep you motivated to stay strong throughout exams.

“The skills you learn at school will be vitally important for university and the career path you choose.

“And avoid taking a gap year when exams are over. If you fall out of the habit of study, it is very hard to get back into it.”

Max has an idea of where he wants to end up after completing his engineering degree but is not limiting himself either, seeing his future as "somewhere along the lines of manufacturing robotic equipment and computerised machinery".

“I can do several things with my degree, like research or programming, but I want to design things,” he said.

“I’m looking at internships at the moment. I will see where that leads but I’m enjoying keeping my options open.”