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Best in the country! Student tops Future Leaders list

Tens of thousands of students will graduate from universities across this country this year, soon to (if not already) contribute fresh energy and innovation into the nation’s workforce.

Graduate job marketplace GradConnection has pinpointed the cream of the crop, bringing together its 2019 Top 100 Future Leaders at a ceremony in Sydney last week.

From thousands of applications, University of Southern Queensland (USQ) had three students recognised in the Top100 - Mitchell Lawler and Ben Killeen (Engineering), and Ashley Rowe (ICT).

On the last night of competition, 10 awards were up for grabs sponsored by Australia’s biggest graduate recruitment companies. USQ’s Mitchell Lawler received one of the major accolades – the Mars Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Award.

“I was honoured to represent USQ and make it known that USQ has the ability to produce talented students at the same level as any other university in Australia,” Mr Lawler said.

“The competition experience was phenomenal. It allowed me to gain an understanding of the typical recruitment process for larger companies and of what is expected.

“The greatest part was having the opportunity to meet 99 other highly motivated and passionate students in their respective fields.

“It was inspiring to see the sort of calibre of our future leaders in Australia.”

During the competition, which aims to find the most promising future leaders graduating from Australian Universities, Mr Lawler was commended for the clarity of his communication, his natural leadership skills, and his humility.

Mr Lawler, who is expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) in April, has spent the last five years juggling work and study.

He was the first in his family to attend university, inspired to study engineering by his rural upbringing.

“I’m from Warwick, raised on a 320 acre property. I became interested in solving problems from a young age as there were regular issues with machinery at home,” he said.

“I saw engineering as the best outlet to solve problems on a greater scale while giving me creative freedom in my line of work.”

His hard work has paid off with Mr Lawler already working for a Toowoomba based mechanical and electrical engineering company that specialises in building services design.

“It has been a great experience to be able to apply my theoretical knowledge from subjects such as heat transfer, fluid mechanics and energy technology from university, into real world scenarios.”

“Looking forward, I want to continue pushing the boundaries of what is deemed impossible to inspire the next generation of innovators.”

USQ offers coaching and support to students, including career planning and advice, finding graduate work, professional development, and more.

To learn more, visit www.usq.edu.au/current-students/career-development.

Man at podium
USQ’s Mitchell Lawler received the Mars Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Award.