Cadetship Gives Engineering Student Opportunity to Thrive
Curtin University engineering student Cody Frick realised he wanted to be an engineer in Year 10 after completing a research project on the profession.
“I was smashing through maths and physics, I quite love my sciences,” he said.
An Aboriginal school scholarship from Chevron helped him through Years 11 and 12 at Pinjarra Senior High School.
The scholarship program that started in 2015 gives students an insight into where their studies could take them beyond school, as well as practical and financial support.
Mr Frick said he could not have afforded a laptop and his textbooks without it.
He is now a second-year chemical engineering student at Curtin on Chevron’s Aboriginal cadetship program.
Chevron employees mentor the cadets, giving them an understanding of how their studies are applied.
“It really drove me forward to actually do the work,” Mr Frick said.
Over his summer holidays he worked at Chevron on a device to detect damaging sand flow in gas pipelines by the sound it makes.
“I thought that was amazing, getting to apply some of the stuff I’ve learnt at uni,” he said.
Mr Frick said he kept to himself in his first year at Curtin, but the summer work changed that.
“Coming back to uni I’m much more open to asking the lecturer the questions if I don’t understand something,” he said.
Chevron Aboriginal employment manager Rishelle Hume has worked in this area for 25 years.
She said the Chevron program was the most effective she had seen as it started in schools and had high-quality mentors.
“If you can change one person’s life you can change others … in an Aboriginal family or community,” she said. “They see Cody and he is a role model for the next generation.”
Applications for eight Aboriginal cadetships in fields including business, health and engineering close on Friday.
Story by Peter Milne
Image courtesy of Simon Santi
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