A third generation RMIT graduate, Nikolaas Kostraby’s passion and dedication to learning enabled him to secure a spatial scientist position for a leading international organisation.
Bachelor of Science (Geospatial Science)
Spatial Scientist at GHD
While most of my friends were enjoying their holidays on the beach and their days-off sleeping in, I was busy gaining work experience at Parks Victoria and working as a vacation student at GHD, a global engineering company, which is where I ended up.
As a keen and eager (yet slightly bewildered) Year 10 student, I attended an RMIT Open Day and stumbled upon the geospatial science information booth.
I was totally captivated. Something clicked and I started to envisage a future in the spatial industry. A year later, I attended an experience day at RMIT to gain a better understanding of what it was to be a geospatial science student at RMIT. From that day, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the place for me.
RMIT is one of the only tertiary institutes that offer a degree in this specialised area. Both my grandfather and father studied at RMIT so I felt a special inter-generational connection with the University.
Without a doubt, the highlight was my Major Project (honours thesis). Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dare to imagine that I had the capability to select a topic, research it and write an extended thesis! However, through the foundation courses in the early years of the degree and with the support of my supervisor, I was mentored and guided to successfully achieve a thirty-thousand word thesis.
Being involved in extracurricular areas helped build my confidence as well as my peer and professional network within the spatial industry. Through my involvement with the Geospatial Sciences Student Association of RMIT, I was able to develop and grow my confidence and effectiveness through the structured course work and supportive mentors.
I also gained valuable leadership and relevant industry skills which have enabled me to go into any work place and use my education in a professional setting with confidence.
While most of my friends were enjoying their holidays on the beach and their days-off sleeping in, I was busy gaining work experience at Parks Victoria and working as a vacation student at GHD, a global engineering company, which is my current employer. Making the decision to gain as much work experience as possible while studying allowed me to support my classroom learning and engage in real world situations.
I hope to progress my career at GHD and become a manager of my own projects. I’m aspiring to becoming a certified geospatial scientist from the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.