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How I got career-ready at UWA

18/10/2021 |

Since graduating from UWA in 2017, Thea Kurniawan has gone from strength to strength. Here’s how her university experience set her up for success. 

When she first started at UWA, Thea was completely focused on her studies. But as time went on, she wanted more. Looking for a well-rounded university experience, Thea sought out every extracurricular opportunity available. 

She joined several clubs and societies, and soon, she was inspired to start her own. In 2016, Thea founded Western Australia’s first fully student operated TEDx organisation, TEDxUWA, organising public speaking events on and off-campus. Nearly six years on, the club continues to thrive, with Thea still involved as an executive board member. 

Thea was introduced to engineer and UWA alum Kat Chapman through UWA’s Career Mentor Link program, a one-on-one mentoring program matching students with professionals in their field of study. “As a student, it was wonderful to be paired with an amazing female mentor working in a career field I aspired to be in, she’s a role model in the industry. Now I’m a professional myself, we’ve reconnected, and I’m still inspired by her tips and advice.”  

UWA grad Thea Kurniawan

And that wasn’t the only great industry connection she made. Thea landed her first grad position after meeting with an industry representative at a UWA careers fair.  

"What started as wanting stall freebies, turned out to be the best first job experience I could ask for. Straight out of uni, I was fortunate to get a role that provided strong foundations and paved the way to achieving my career goals."

Thea also took the opportunity to study abroad twice in her time at UWA, completing summer school at Stanford University in the US, and a semester study exchange at China’s Tsinghua University. These experiences, along with time spent at school in Indonesia, has given her a truly global outlook on life. Thea “strongly believes in the importance of bridging the gap between countries, cultures and people, and building the next generation of resilient young leaders.” 

"Thanks to my UWA experience, I now feel future-ready and equipped with the skills I need to face the challenges of tomorrow."

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