David Purser

As part of his final year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Aero Eng)(Hons)/Bachelor of Business (Mgt), David interned at Airbus Defence and Space, Germany.

"I’ll never forget walking into the secure hangar of the Eurofighter Typhoon as an aerospace engineer. Admittedly I was an intern, but that’s not how I felt at Airbus Defence and Space. From day one I was given real tasks that related directly to this 4th generation fighter jet. I had full autonomy over my projects and was responsible for delivering actual results.

On my first day my supervisor asked me to solve a problem. On completion I asked him if I had the correct answer, to which he replied ‘if I knew that I wouldn’t have asked you to solve it’. This experience encapsulated my internship.

Previously at university I had been given problems to solve and yet my professors already knew the answers, here my supervisors gave me problems and trusted me to find the answers. I felt like I was making an actual contribution to a project that really mattered.

Living overseas was an enlightening experience in itself. I discovered a new level of independence that I had never before known. I travelled all over Europe and visited countries that I had only seen in magazines. I made life-long friends from all over the world some of whom have since visited me back home in Australia.

Despite the distance I still felt supported by RMIT. My mentors were only an email away and I was delighted when Professor Abanteriba flew all the way to Germany to visit me. I would encourage anyone to apply for RIIERP, it’s an opportunity not be missed.”