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CQUni Knows Caleb

Get to know Caleb Smith

My name is Caleb Smith and I’m studying a Bachelor of Information Technology at CQUniversity. I received a CQUniversity Equity Scholarship.

I was always into programming and then picked up JavaScript along the way. I just wanted to pursue a career and decided that this first degree was the right one for me. I’m actually the first person in my family to attend university. My parents and my brothers and sisters have chosen to do trades. My family is a real inspiration to me. They’ve always thought I would be good at it. I guess they influenced me in that way. They have always encouraged me to pursue it because they thought I was best suited to it.

I chose CQUni because it’s my local university, it’s close to my home and it had the right course for me. It also gives me the flexibility to move interstate and pursue my dreams. I’m moving to the Sydney campus next year where I’ll be able to continue my degree in IT.

The year I received my scholarship was just in time. I had a desktop computer which basically died on me. Then, at the end of the term, my laptop died just after my exams and I had a bunch of stuff that had to be paid. I was just thinking, ‘I don’t know how I can fit all this into my budget’. So, I rang the University with the intention of maybe just borrowing a laptop or something, just for a while until I could save up enough. I was actually pointed towards this scholarship.

When I received my scholarship, I just felt over the moon. I didn’t think I was going to get it, so when I did I felt like a lot of stress just came off my shoulders. It was week three and I’d just been using the university computers. So I felt blessed. I spent half of my scholarship money on the laptop and then I just saved the rest for travel to University and other stuff that I might need for my car and things like that. I could continue studying. I didn’t have to worry about having to go buy a laptop. And I’m sure it helped me in my grades because I could actually focus a bit more on what I was supposed to be doing.

Getting the support was really important. CQUni really helps people that are burdened with difficult financial situations secure their future. I think that if students are giving their all to University, they deserve it. I know there are some people who are struggling or computers die. They’re just starting. They started their term and they have nothing to work on. I think it helps those kinds of people.

The scholarship process is quick and easy, and they’re very supportive. You go online and choose the scholarship that you want to apply for, and it prompts you to fill out a form. You just write about your circumstances, submit a few documents and that’s pretty much done. Quite easy and straightforward.

My advice to anyone who’s in a situation like me? I’d say go for it because you’ve got nothing to lose. Be honest. Explain what type of lifestyle you want and make sure you’re as thorough as possible. And make sure you apply before the deadlines! It can only help and benefit you. It doesn’t matter how others see you. It’s actually something you should be proud of.

I think education is really powerful when it teaches people to think critically and to think for themselves out of the box. I’d really like to thank CQUni for giving me this opportunity. It has changed my life because I’ve learnt valuable skills and resources to pursue my dreams of a career in IT.