When Jardel Palmer crossed the stage at the 2021 CQUniversity Bundaberg Graduation Ceremony this week she proved to herself that success really is a matter of mind over body.
The 23-year-old graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) after many years of perseverance while living with multiple sclerosis and the pressure of being the first in her family to undertake tertiary study.
Jardel was the recipient of the CQUni Bundaberg Associate Vice-President's Medal and also provided the response on behalf of graduates.
"I had quite a few hardships'" she said.
"I was the first in my family to go to uni' so I certainly felt pressure to succeed' and this was hard as I had just moved out of home."
"I was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is 2019' which took a major toll on my physical and mental health. I was lucky to have scholarships to aid in my study' so I didn't feel pressured to work as much."
Jardel received the CQUniCares Anglo American Scholarship' CQUniCares Launch Scholarship' CQUniCares Student Success Scholarship (School of Engineering and Technology)' and as part of the CQUGlobal outbound program she received a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant which allowed her to travel to Nepal for an engineering humanitarian design summit.
She said she was inspired to study Engineering by her older brothers.
"I chose to study this as my two older brothers are diesel fitters and I was always fascinated with the mechanics of how things work. Plus' I was good at math'" she said.
"The course was certainly challenging but certainly had its fun points. I was lucky to be part of external challenges' such as the Warman Design Challenge national finals in Sydney."
Jardel now works full-time with Richglen Maintenance Services which operates in the mining industry in the Mackay region.
"I am working with this company as a project controls engineer which will lead me into project management' which is ultimately what I want to be doing' so this is super exciting'" she said.
"I am very excited to be graduating! Having my degree – something I worked so hard towards – is really special."
"For anyone looking to study I would always suggest taking the leap and do it. You will never know until you try' and you might just find your new dream career."