Collaboration is key for chemical engineering master

30 Jul 2020

Learning to work with people of different views and backgrounds is what University of Queensland graduate Rosario Perez values most from her studies in Brisbane.

After studying a bachelor’s degree in food engineering at home in Argentina, the newly minted Master of Engineering (Chemical) was looking for a broader challenge.

She was keen to attend one of the Group of Eight universities, and chose UQ because the masters program allowed her to choose her own path.

“I’m super happy with my choice to study here – it was amazing,” she said.

“What I was looking for was to be able to work for any company and any process, because what I like and what I am passionate about is how to fix problems in the processing industries.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of industry it is, if it is mining, plastics, food or whatever.

“The bachelor gave me the basics, but then the master’s degree gave me another way of thinking, and to know a lot about how people work in different places.

“The friends that I have from here are because I was part of a team with them for assignments.

“Engineering is tough and we had to spend a lot of time together, and that’s a good thing.”

Ms Perez also praised the sense of community on the St Lucia campus.

“I did everything – events, societies, market days, the cinema, UQ sports,” she said.

“Apart from the courses, there is a whole life here and there are things for everyone.

“I tried to engage in every activity I could.

“I did three student-staff partnership programs, I did the summer research, so I think I got my best from the University.”

Not even the disruptions to campus life caused by COVID-19 could prevent her graduation.

“The semester was super different, but I spent every single day in the library at UQ with some friends, and we got a lot of help from the lecturers.”

After a successful internship, Ms Perez and her partner are moving to the Central Queensland town of Gladstone, where she’s secured a position with Rio Tinto.

Rosario Perez doing thesis final

They’re also seeking permanent residency in Australia.

“We are very happy and will fulfil our dream of wanting to live near the beach,” she said.

“I’m not afraid of moving to another city or even to another country, because I have had that experience already.

“I don’t know what my life will be like in two or five years, because it’s changed a lot in the past two years.

“Back in Argentina I was working for manufacturing companies and I was in charge of people, so I would like to go back to that because I love being part of a team.”

As well as solving problems in different ways with skills learned at UQ.