Karim Bizri – Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
Karim Bizri has wanted to be an engineer since he was six years old, constructing whole cities from building blocks. But having had an interrupted school life, attending a disadvantaged high school and being the first in his family to aim for university, he’d thought the University of Sydney would be beyond his reach. Then he heard about the E12 scheme, and now he’s at Sydney studying for his dream job as an electrical engineer specialising in renewable energy.
"I was born in Australia, but I left when I was in Year 2 to live in Lebanon. Then I returned to Australia in 2010 and did my Year 10 certificate and my HSC here.
The high school I went to here in Australia was in a disadvantaged area, where not many students go on to university. Also, my parents didn’t go to university, and I’m the oldest of my siblings, so I didn’t really have anyone with experience of uni who could help me with the transition.
I was definitely aiming to go, and my family expected it of me, but I never thought I’d get in to Sydney. In fact, before I heard about the E12 scheme I had my sights set on another uni, because I assumed I’d be aiming to get in there. I visited that campus about 25 times, but I’d only ever visited Sydney Uni twice!
The E12 scheme has been like a dream, not like reality. I’d been trying really hard to get good marks since I returned to Australia, and I did get quite a good ATAR, but it was very helpful that the E12 scheme took into account my broader circumstances.
In fact I’ve found the whole E12 package a really good introduction to uni. It broke the ice to begin with, and even now it keeps me motivated and really keeps me at uni, with continued support like mentoring and so on.
Sydney Uni is great. All the other students in my classes are really nice, and the whole University community is very friendly. The lecturers are easy to understand, and the tutors really take time to answer my questions.
Although my interest in engineering started with building blocks, I’m less interested in civil engineering now! I’d like to specialise in power and electrical engineering, particularly in renewable energy. I just got a car and I’m finding petrol really expensive, so I’d like to look at ways of generating power without using fossil fuels such as coal and petrol.
I have a part-time job that helps me financially at the moment, so I’m going to put my E12 scholarship money aside for travelling when I graduate. I’d like to start my career in Australia and then travel and work in other countries, like Japan, the US and Spain. Particularly Spain, because then I can go and watch Real Madrid play every week!"