I know, I know, from the title, you might be thinking: engineers in kayaks, 19-year-old students building tents, and roasting marshmallows, fully grown dudes riding ponies. Let me assure you that it was not that kind of camp. In fact, the technical name for it was ‘Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering Part II Field Trip’. We travelled to the faraway land of Rotorua, went to different engineering companies for tours and had a team bonding exercise on Saturday.
Also! Not sure if I ever mentioned this last year, but I ended up specializing in Engineering Science! Nope, not Engineering and Science (I get this a lot 😅), but Engineering Science. But, I’ll save explaining what it is for another day 😉.
The Engineering Science (EngSci) and Biomedical Engineering (BME) students were split on Thursday. For EngSci students, the trip kicked off bright and early at 8:15am in the Law building(!?). Three companies, Derceto/Suez, Tonkin+Taylor and Fonterra came to talk about their companies, bringing along previous EngSci graduates who talked about their roles in their company.
I didn’t get to take any photos during this time (the room was quite small, and it would’ve been weird to whip out my camera… 😬) but I would say that their presentations were one of the highlights of the trip. The presenters were funny, genuine and quite relatable (a lot of them were recent graduates too), by the end of it, if I were to base it on the presentations alone, I would’ve been more than happy to work for any of them.
Coming into Engineering Science, I didn’t have a clear idea as to what graduates go onto do, but that’s the thing, graduates can go into so many different roles; there’s really no ‘set path’. If I were to take a stab as to what this trip was for, I would say that it was to ease our minds a bit, showing us some possible roles, as well as to help us bond as a cohort.
After the talk, we headed on the bus to Rotorua, East Tamaki to Fisher and Paykel Appliances.
The first thing I have to say about the Fisher and Paykel Appliances office is that it’s beautiful. They had circular glass panes installed in the ceilings that let sunlight shine through, illuminating huge golden trees spaced around the office! They also had a giant sponge, which was pretty cool too. Overall, I was quite impressed.
Finally! Off to Rotorua!
After many, many rounds of I Spy and getting to know my seat buddy’s entire life story, we arrived at Crash Palace backpackers. I’ve never stayed at a backpacker before, but it was much nicer than I expected. A sign of growing up: when everyone fights for the bottom bunk instead of the top bunk.
We also did some light shopping:
7:30 Wake. 8:15 Depart for Scion.
For those of you with a sustainable streak, Scion, or New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited, is the place for you. It was definitely cool seeing how they used plants and biodegradable materials to make things and 3D print objects e.g. biospifes, the spoon/knife (spife) that comes with kiwifruit packs 🥝, but biodegradable!
10:30 Mercury Energy.
It had just rained so when we went for a tour of the site we were attacked by flies. Ok that sounded bad, they were small, and they didn’t bite so it was all good 👍. Other than that pleasant experience, we got to understand more about geothermal plants and renewable energy and also got to meet an EngSci alumnus, who was a cool guy. I’ve used cool a lot in this blog. But yes. Mercury Energy was also very cool ✌.
12:00 Hu-hu-hu-huka Faaaallls
6:30: Maori Mitai Village:
Another highlight of the trip: the performance put on by Maori Mitai Village. It definitely exceeded all my expectations (I was expecting us to DIY our own hangi so… expectations were set quite low 😂). I loved the live singing, poi spinning, haka, and there was even a romantic duet which was very sweet! The food was absolutely smashing, and we even got to see some glow worms after dark as well! 10/10 experience.
9:00: Engineers after dark.
Biggest difference between school camp and university field trips? There’re no ice breaker activities forcing you to interact (which has both its ups and downs, I still haven’t meet everyone, but I did get to bond more with my existing friends), instead, there is heaps of free time, no curfew and easy access to alcohol.
We went from playing cards and Monopoly Go, to attending an initiation by third and fourth years.
Let’s not go into detail as to what happened, it’ll spoil the tradition. You’ll just have to join EngSci/BME to find out 😉
Time flew by in a blink of an eye. We had an amazing race on the last day which lived up to its name. The tasks ranged from doing flag signals, to being given $20 to buy care packages for the salvation army, to posing in weird places etc. There was 0 chance our team was going to win so we just had some fun exploring Rotorua! I look absolutely tragic in all the tasks photos with my team so here are some photos with other teams 😜.
Welp. This has probably my biggest blog yet (and it sure took me ages to write 😭), so I hope you guys enjoyed it! Engineering Camp was honestly super fun and I met some awesome people to cry though the tough times sit with and I have no doubt that these will grow into beautiful friendships! 💖
Speaking of beautiful friendships, I’m glad to be back 💕