Undergraduate passion leads to a busy campus life – and a dream job

When he started his studies at the University of Wollongong (UOW) three years ago, Aaron Lozenkovski was determined to make the most of all the opportunities university life offered.

He was determined to succeed academically, but also wanted to take advantage of the social and co-curricular activities UOW provides its students. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Information Systems this morning (Thursday 15 December), and looking back on his university career he can confidently say he achieved everything he set out to accomplish.

Thanks to his academic success he will be walking straight into a dream job on Innovation Campus with information technology company NEC Australia – in fact, he has already started in the job, working part-time since April and full-time since last week.

On the social and co-curricular side, he worked as an In2Uni Mentor at UOW, helping high school students develop the skills necessary for undergraduate studies, while also co-founding the flourishing Wollongong Information Technology Society.

However, when he first arrived at UOW, Aaron said he had quite a few trepidations about what university would be like.

“It was not what I expected – but in a good way,’’ he said.

“As a high school student I didn’t think I’d find it as enjoyable and as welcoming as I did. It was an awesome experience to jump straight into university and discover all the opportunities and all the different things going on.

“I wanted to make the most of it. When you’re at university it seems like it will go on forever, but you’re really not there for long at all, it’s only three years.”

It was that desire to make the most of his time at UOW that led to Aaron and his friends James Rule and Matthew Pearce starting the IT Society.

“I was sitting with James and Matthew and we were talking about how we could get the most out of uni,” Aaron said. “We thought there was a lack of connection between the students and the facilities that were available to them. We wanted to build an IT community and to hold events and workshops to bring students together.

“We wanted the society to be open to anybody who was interested in any aspect of IT, and have really focused on that and on attracting students from different degrees – from IT and engineering, but also from business and even design. We wanted to create an interdisciplinary environment.”

The IT Society got off to a flying start when it took over the reins of Hackagong, a popular “hackathon” event where teams of engineers, entrepreneurs and developers spend a weekend designing, testing and prototyping IT ideas.

“Hackagong was a fantastic kickstarter for the IT Society,” Aaron said. “It was handed to us to by the founder to carry it on. It was a huge project to take on and took a lot of our time that first year to organise, but really helped to spread the word about the IT Society.

Despite the role IT now plays in his life, Aaron said he only developed a passion for it toward the end of his high school years.

“We had an IT class in the senior years at high school. Before that I wasn’t intending to do IT at all, I was concentrating on getting enough marks to get into civil engineering,” he said.

“That all really took a turn when I learnt more about IT – the more I learnt about the posgrasibilities that IT offered the more I knew that was what I wanted to do.”

While he did weigh up whether to take a straight IT course, Aaron said the Bachelor of Business Information Systems was definitely the right choice.

“The IT field is so broad and there are so many paths you can go down, but the BBIS was perfect for me,” he said.

“Where the world is heading now I think there is going to be more and more of a merger between business and IT, and to have the skills to work in that space will be the pinnacle in the future.

“I’ve walked straight out of uni into a full-time job. Without that degree I wouldn’t have been ready for that. I have the knowledge and the skills for the role so I feel the university has prepared me well. I feel confident in the job.

“It’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife role, it has elements of everything – management, communications, IT, business.”

Aaron adds that having grown up and gone to school in Dapto, getting a job in his field so close to home is “a real bonus”.

“It’s amazing to get a job like that that’s so close to home,’’ he said.

“It’s great to see jobs and opportunities like that opening up in the Wollongong area.”

Photo: Graduate Aaron Lozenkovski. Credit: Matt Estherby

Words by Ben Long. Originally published on UOW Newsroom