This is the transcript for the video Bachelor of Creative Intelligence & Innovation webinar with current students


Lara, Joel, Ursula, Clancy

Joel  00:00 

Cool. Well welcome, everyone. Thank you for coming today. Before we get started, I just want to mention that we are recording this to share with other prospective parents and students in the future. The purpose of today is just meeting with a couple of us, myself and Lara are in our final year of BCII and Clancy and Ursula in their penultimate year, um, we’re just here to talk about I guess, some of our experiences studying BCII, what we loved, learnt, and where it’s taken us or hoping to take us in the near future. Because we recognise or I certainly remember, like when I was trying to figure out my degree going into university, it was a bit of a process, and I had some qualms trying to figure out what I was what I wanted to do. So hopefully, perhaps hearing some of our stories today and having a chance to answer some of your questions will alleviate some of that stress for you. So, before we get started, I would like to acknowledge the gadigal people of the eora nation upon whose ancestral lands our City Campus now stands. I would also like to pay respect to the elders both past and present, acknowledging them as traditional custodians of knowledge for this land. Alright, so for the panel, the attendees in this webinar if you ask any questions, there is a little Q&A icon, hopefully down at the bottom of your zoom panel, and if you click that you can lodge a question and then Clancy is going to be monitoring that with Godspeed, and hopefully we’ll be able to integrate some of your questions into the conversation as we move forward. There’s also a lot of on demand videos at And there will be a more detailed presentation on course specifics which you should watch on the on demand info session on the Open Week website. Okay, great. So maybe we should get started with some stories and questions. Clancy if you want to take it away.

Clancy  01:46 

Beauty sounds good. So, we have a few pre-prepared questions for everyone. But of course, if you guys have any input on the questions or if you have your own, you can just chuck them in the in the box down below. So, I’ll kick it off with a pretty good one, and it’s a great starter one. So how would you explain the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation to someone who has never heard of it before? So, Lara, I’ll pass this one over to you first.

Lara  02:14 

Awesome, thanks, Clancy. So, it is a little bit of a tricky one, because it is something that’s so new. And I feel like when you have got something that’s new, and at the cutting edge, sometimes it can be a little bit hard to explain. But I think the best way that I see it is it’s basically all students getting together from a bunch of different disciplines. So that could mean that they’ve got a law background or a business background or nursing background or design background. And they come together to learn about problem solving approaches, and how they can interact with and provide value for industry partners, and also learn about how to think differently, so how to push boundaries and come up with new innovations and ideas. So yeah, basically, this is really great degree, where you are doing all this real cutting edge work and you’re hearing different students, different teachers, different industry perspectives. Yeh, I think that to me, what were you thinking Clancy? How would you describe it? 

Clancy  03:15 

Yeah, I really loved the way that you described it, especially in regards to, like, if you really, like capsulated pretty well, all the different sort of things that combine together in the BCII. And I love the way that I like to describe it as I guess, like personal development, but in the form of like, solving other people’s problems, and then inadvertently solving your own and kind of developing yourself. And it’s really amazing the way that you pick up on the energy of the students around you, and also the energy of the industry partners that come in as well. It’s a bit like, energy sharing system, I suppose. Yeah.

Joel  03:56 

Before you go on to the next question, I think I might just take a second quickly to introduce everyone with their core degrees. So perhaps if you want to go I’ll start us off and then Ursula, Laura, Clancy, maybe just give a quick background on your core degree before we proceed with the next question. Um, so I’m coming personally from a background of product design, and Ursula.

Ursula  04:17 

So, I’m doing communications and for those of you who are looking at any of the Comms degrees, you’ll know that you can do two majors within Comms. I’m doing social political science and public relations. Lara

Lara  04:31 

I am studying business is my core degree. I’m majoring in finance. Yes, that’s me. And I’ll throw to Clancy.

Clancy  04:39

I’m studying chemistry, so science, but I’ve dabbled a bit in forensics and physics as well. Yeah, awesome. So, this is probably one of the main questions that we get is how does BCII combine with the degrees that we have, and also why did we decide to study BCII with our core degree, there has to be that moment that we thought we’re going to do BCII. So, I’ll pass this over to Ursula and Joel, what made you guys study BCII with your core degree?

Ursula  05:21 

I had a bit of a weird one I was originally studying Communications at Charles Sturt in Bathurst of all places. And then I found it frustrating how theory based it was that it was very much like sitting in a lecture theatre, listen to information and regurgitate that information back I’m sure you will, would understand doing the HSC at the moment,  very much that kind of style of learning. And, and then I went, it’s very cliché. I went on a big trip to India of all places, and I was like, Oh, I want to change the world. I want to do more with my life, bla, bla, bla, and BCII kind of spoke to me in the sense that it’s so project based, and it’s so, so hands on and you actually work with industry partners and things like that. So, I felt like I was actually going to learn skills that were more needed in the workplace as opposed to just theory. So that’s why I decided to do it.

Joel  06:23

I was in a really similar vein to Ursula moving in. So, I come, like I said, I come from a design background, I guess you could almost couple design engineering into a similar kind of mindset at university where you learn like a wide array of technical skills. And for me, I guess I was very concerned about I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t entirely confident that at the end of my degree, I would know how to apply those to the real world. So, I decided to do the double degree in product design with BCII. So, I could be exposed to like people in other teams from other industries and from other backgrounds and learn how to take my technical design skills and apply them in teams to solve real problems for real industry problems moving forward.

Ursula  07:09 

I think was the other part of your question. Clancy, how does it combine with our core degree?

Clancy  07:15 

Yeah, so I guess when you first started BCII, how did you find that it combined with your core degree? Because a lot of people have a bit of anxiety around, like, will this work with science? Will this work with business, with law? I guess the broad answer is that it works with everything. But more specifically, how does it work for you guys?

Ursula  07:35

So, as I said before, I’m doing communications with social and political science and PR. It’s one of my favourite things I think about it is that in social and political science, we study issues in society we study, gender pay gap is one of the big ones that I’m doing at the moment and homelessness is one of the other ones I’ve been doing recently and, and you, It can become a little bit, you become a bit jaded very quickly, because you’re looking at issues, issues, issues and the history of issues, and how when perhaps not always making as much change as we would like to. And then you go into your BCII schools, and it is all about how do you create effective and meaningful change. And so, I find it really helpful to then bring it back to my core degree where all we talk about are problems. And then you go into BCII. And you talk about how to understand problems on a complex level, and how to work with those and problem solve. And so, I find it is a really great match in that sense. And yeah, and I find it inspiring because I think I’d find it difficult to just talk about the issues all the time, which is what happens in my core degree. Yes, Joel, I don’t know how it matches for you.

Joel  08:52

I think. Yeah, maybe it’s going to be like a bit specific. But I think a big part about being a designer is kind of like seeing the system as a whole and learning how to integrate different team members putting in the right position to bring some kind of product service system or infrastructure into fruition. And I think for me, BCII definitely fill a lot of gaps in terms of how other people think. How can we you know, orchestrate all these different people with all these different mindsets to like align and solve the same problem. So, I found coming back into my design degree after doing BCII in the brakes, particularly those first couple years, I’ve had a really nice perspective on how to actually apply the projects we’re been working on to the real world.

Clancy  09:34

Hmm, that’s really awesome. And with preferencing, a lot of people get a bit confused as to how BCII the double degree works with the UAC system. Yes, I think Lara

Lara  09:50

I can jump in there just about that. So, it can be sometimes really confusing. I know when you’re in high school and you’re having to make big choices and then also have to trying to figure out the UAC preferencing system. But don’t worry, I know it is overwhelming, we’ve all been there. But we’re here to help you. And we can get through that. And so, try not to stress even though it’s hard. But basically, usually the combined degrees have a higher entry score, then just the core degree alone. So, we always recommend to put the combined degree as your first preference, if you want to do BCII. Just to make sure that you’re definitely in that higher level for that to be considered, and then obviously also meeting the admission requirements as well.

Clancy  10:39

Awesome. Okay, so we have a question in the chat. So, Michaels asked are BCII subjects held concurrently alongside the core degree. And this leads perfectly into our next question, which is, how would you describe a BCII class? What does class look like when you go into BCII and how does it work with your core degree? So, Lara and Joel, I’ll pass it over to you. How would you describe a BCII class?

Lara  11:12

So, the BCII classes are actually really, really different to your core degree. I know coming from a business degree, direct throughout the semester, I will be doing mainly lectures and tutorials. So, they are a lot more passive, so a lectures is with lots of people, and you just sort of go and watch the presentation. And then a tutorial is with a slightly smaller group. So, a bit more like a classroom at school. But still, it’s quite structured, and not as interactive I found in business. But BCII is it’s absolutely completely different, even starting with the time that it runs. So, sort of speaking to Michael’s question about how it works. In the first three years, when you’re usually doing your core degree, you’ll be doing that in your main semester. So that’s what you originally think about Uni that sort of 12 weeks you go in couple days. But for BCII, you actually run them in intensive schools. So, they run twice a year, one in winter and one in summer. And you basically do your subject for two weeks every day. And then that’s the whole subject done. And that really works nicely to the way that the classes run, because they are really interactive. So, it’s a lot more engaging, it’s more workshop style. So, you’re much more focused on what you’re doing rather than just in taking information. So often, I found they might start with a brief introduction or a little presentation from either a faculty member or an industry partner, but then they’re really keen on getting you out there working on different methods or activities, and then really getting hands on with how that works. But I might stop there and throw over to Joel to see if he has anything else to add or to how the class is run.

Joel  13:06

Yeah I really enjoyed the BCII kind of like space and environment. It is really like high energy fast paced, like very collaborative kind of environment where like a lot of ideas being thrown around a little bit like rapid prototyping and bringing things to life. And yeah, collaborating with a bunch of people that I think if you were just doing a single degree, like wouldn’t have the opportunity to be exposed to throughout your three or four year bachelor. Commenting on, I was going to kind of reiterate again as well because the structure of BCII I guess is like quite important. So, to the question was asked in the Q&A, I guess in school, everything is split into four terms, whereas at university, everything’s split into two semesters. So, you kind of have 12 weeks semester, winter holidays, 4 week semester, summer holidays over Christmas. So, for the first three years, which is the average length of a regular bachelor degree, you’ll do your semester and then in the break there will be a two week BCII school, semester, 2 weeks BCII school. So that’s how it is for the first three years and then at the end, you add on an entire regular year of two semesters, just of BCII. And that’s kind of how it’s played out from start to end and you graduate with a double degree.

Clancy  14:17

Yeah, awesome. Ursula, how would you describe so a specific BCII assignment or assessment that you’ve experienced? So, taking after everyone’s heard all that knowledge of like, what is BCII look like? In general, the core structure and how it benefits everyone. What’s a specific example that you’ll be able to do.

Ursula  14:40

Yeah, so I guess what most of you would know by now is that it’s all industry partner based. So, all of our assessments we get an industry partner in, they will pitch us a brief on some kind of issue that they’re facing in their own workplace and in their work and then we will work on that for a period of time, it might be a few days, it might be the full two weeks. And then at the end of that we pitch it back to that industry partner. So, and Clancy and I are in the same year, so I’ll get you to jump in this one as well Clancy. But we recently did one, we’re in the same group recently. Where we worked with the constellation project, so it’s this team that are made up of, they’ve got people from PwC from Mission Australia from where else were they from Clancy? They were big nerds. I remember being nervous talking to them. And yeah, and so basically, they were looking at homelessness and which is a massive, massive topic, and then they broke it down. So, Clancy and my group were looking at domestic violence and finding homes for women escaping domestic violence in Queensland so it was something that we all worked on something quite niche. And yeah, we worked on that for two weeks and ended up pitching it back to them at the end. And we recently heard back from them that they were really happy with our ideas. And I think they’re taking some of the ideas that we put forward on board. So, yeah, that’s one of the ones we worked on recently. My favourite one of all time was actually first year, which was a mental health company called Heart on my sleeve or a charity, I should say, called heart on my sleeve, which are all focused on sharing mental health stories and breaking down the stigma around mental health. And our group created something called the good bits, which was something that could go in addition to their website on their website, where people spoke about how mental health had impacted them in a positive way. So, we’re trying to change the language around mental health in a way to break down stigma and look at the fact that like, there’s all these statistics around people with anxiety are often highly successful as managers, because they’re really in tune to emotions and things like that. So, we’re looking at the positive impacts that come with mental health challenges. And how can we use positive language around mental health to break down the stigma? And yeah, we had lots of back and forth with heart on my sleeve and they were really keen to take that one on board as well. So, they’re two of the assignments. I don’t know if you’ve got any others Clancy that you’ve worked on that you really liked.

Clancy  17:28

I guess I love the way that they sort of integrate our own personal learning into the briefs that we have to follow as well. Like with the one with the constellation project. I love how we in the two weeks we’ve managed to explore this problem space, learn so much about the world of homelessness and build this deep empathy for a different group of people. And kind of pitch, pitch our work to the Constellation Project. But during the two weeks, we’ve also been challenged to develop ourselves as leaders. And we’ve been set specific tasks to think about who we are as people. And what experiences have we had that is kind of the puzzle pieces that have put us together. And then the school kind of lets us take a step back and view the whole puzzle, and all the pieces together and you think, whoa, like, this is who I am. This is the impact that I can have on the world. And it’s such an amazing feeling, being able to kind of just step out of a two week school feeling like you’ve had a positive impact on the world. And you’ve also learned so much about yourself and the people around you as well. I guess that’s was my favourite part of that school with the constellation project for sure. Yeah, I guess that ties into to how like a lot of people think that before they get into their degree, and before they go into their first class, they think I’m not a creative person. How am I, how am I going to thrive in a degree that’s has creativity in the name? And the thing is, is that a lot of the people that go into the Bachelor of creative intelligence and innovation, they aren’t necessarily like creative people when they come in, I guess they’re just interested in perhaps becoming creative. Or they’re just interested in the idea of creativity and the idea of innovation itself. And the way that the course is set up is that pretty much like, it teaches you how to be creative. And as long as you have the initiative to be able to think, hey, I’ve got this potential, and I have the ability to be creative, which everyone does. That’s, that’s science coming from a science point of view. Literally everyone has the potential to be creative. This course is I guess what unlocked it for a lot of people definitely unlocked it for me. So, you definitely don’t have to be a creative person to go into it. Yeah, and with innovation, so with creativity comes innovation as well. And that’s the way that you can kind of bring it into, into the, the field that you want to go into. And yeah.

Clancy  20:25

It’s also, I’ll add on to that kind Clancy, it’s not creative in terms of art, or drawing or painting or like I was a bit panicky at the start, because I cannot draw even stick figures particularly well. And it’s about thinking outside the box. It’s about thinking critically and thinking differently and getting to use your brain which is so exciting when you, because you get so used to like the lecture style of learning, which is that the traditional style of teaching and then BCII is all about putting the onus back on you and getting you to think differently, critically, thinking outside the box and in turn, being innovative.

Clancy  21:07

Yeah, for sure. And I feel like that’s definitely very perpetuated by the fact that we’re studying with people from all different degrees. So, as a scientist in my core degree I just study with other chemists, and quite often you have that one strain of thinking, it’s a bit kind of tunnel vision sometimes. But Ursula and Lara what is it like studying with students from different degrees? What’s the experience like compared to your core degree?

Ursula  21:46

I think that I like I really love it because, when you do because BCII is really group project based. Don’t let that scare you off that group projects have a bad reputation but not in BCII. Everyone is actually really hard working because they’re at Uni, so they can’t they can’t seenzone you. But basically, the biggest positive, I think, that comes from transdisciplinary learning is that you think differently, you forget how much you start to think in your own way. So, I’m doing communications and where all wafflers, like we waffle a lot. And we talk around the topic a lot, which you can probably tell in this panel with me talking. And but then like we work with, I know I did an assignment with a girl called holy, who’s a nursing student, and she’s just like, straight to the point like, will not talk around the topic, which was good because we had to do this 30 second pitch and I had no chance of even getting to the point of what we’re talking about. And she’s just like, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. So, you, you work with people who have completely different ways of thinking. It’s not just their knowledge that’s different like if I worked with Lara, with her finance major, that would be so beneficial. But it’s not just her knowledge that would be beneficial. It’s the different ways that you think that she would probably be more structured in their thinking compared to how my brain works. And I think that that’s one of the biggest benefits. Because in the real world, once we’re out working, we’re not going to just be working with people from our core degree, you’re going to be working with people from all different degrees. And so, it really trains you on how to how to get those different brains working, and it actually brings people out of their shells more and it gets them to think more creatively. And it’s Yeah, I really, really love it. But, pass it on to Lara.

Lara  23:43

Yeah, that was so well put Ursula. Yes. You’re saying all the right things there, but I feel definitely echo the point about not just being the person’s disciplinary knowledge. So yeah, as you said, it’s all these different ways of thinking and you meet people who are really different to you, but also really open to new experiences and trying to test the boundary. So, I think that that commonality helps you just to come around some of the differences in a really unique way that helps you get a lot out of it. I know. I’ve learned so many things, not only in terms of skills, but also just like fun facts, like how people think in different processes. And it’s good to be able to challenge yourself like that, and see whether other approaches sometimes really work well. And I think they actually the whole working with different students, the benefits of that have actually gone beyond the classroom. So, you’ll often hear BCII students saying like how close the cohorts are, because it’s just a really great group of people. But I think the fact that we are all a little bit different helps to add to that, like, I’ve met some design and like Media Arts and Production friends through BCII, and they’ve introduced me to a really cool art and music scene which I don’t even know that I would have come across have I not been hanging out with those kinds of people and then also being with different engineering and IT students who are just so enveloped in the new technologies that it’s like, it’s almost like a really great notification that you get like on your phone and they just like, let you know about things that you didn’t even realise or on your radar. Um, so just having people have come in from all these different really interesting areas is something that I’ve seen benefit me not only in the classroom, but also outside of it too.

Clancy  25:38

Awesome, I guess, with working across disciplines, this ties in really well with industry partners as well. Because the different disciplines of individuals, individual students that you’re working with that transdisciplinarity is reflected very well in all the Industry partners that we work with. So, I’ll get Joel to touch on a bit on the industry partners, as I see that we do have a couple of questions in the q&a surrounding industry.

Joel  26:10

Yeah, great. Um, so I think everyone can see the questions, but in case they don’t appear right now, I guess the question I’m responding to is, um, I read that there are internships available, how long are these for and are these paid? So, I guess, in the first three years, it’s predominantly those two week, summer and winter schools that you’re participating in, and you work a lot with industry partners, but it’s more so in the style, that industry partners will supply a brief and then your teams will all develop projects, responses, products and solutions to that brief. But then once you get into your fourth year, there’s some opportunities to work a lot more closely with industry partners. So actually, the first subject you do in 4th year is called innovation internship A and you’ll be responsible for self-sourcing an internship that you do for I think, between somewhere between six and six to eight weeks. Some 130 hours so something like that.  And that’s kind of your first exposure to it, that might be your first exposure to internship there. Um, so it’s great because BCII has over 800 industry partners. And yeah, this is kind of the first experience. So right after you got that internship, you also do an industry innovation project, which is similar except BCII, kind of curates a list of specific industry partners that you apply to work for. That’s a 12 week program after that, and actually, out of that 40% of students receive ongoing work opportunities just from that one 12 week project, that’s also an opportunity to gain work. And finally, if you’re still not sated, there is another opportunity to do an internship B, which is a similar vein to internship A where self-source another internship and you gain credit recognition for that. So, the question also at the end tacked onto there was are these paid, I guess the benefit of having them self-sourced is that it is kind of like, up to you whether you decide to find one that is paid or not. But you definitely have flexibility within that. And I understand some different circumstances where, like income is more important if you’re paying for rent and food. Um, yeah, you can absolutely find paid internships and do the BCII course credit.

Clancy  28:20

Awesome. Thanks for that, Joel. And what do the industry partners think of the BCII students? So, when you’re working with the industry partners, how did the students interact with the industry partners and how did they industry partners interact with the students? Is it really closely or is it like working with a big business?

Joel  28:46

For me? Yeah, sorry. Yeah. Um, yeah, so you work you work very closely. So, I guess the partners that you work with can range all the way from startups into like SMEs to like transnationals. And we’ve had like a really positive response. I think a lot of partners I’ve worked with, have always been pleasantly surprised by the caliber of BCII students. I think the caliber is really synthesized because you’re working in a really diverse team. When you have like synthesized insights across a team from varying backgrounds, the caliber of work tends to be of a higher impact than perhaps those experiences the industry partner had with people just doing core degrees. The, I’m just going to reference another question in the q&a how are your assignments marked working with industry. So, while you do respond to a brief provided by industry, there’s also a separate marking criteria, which will be the basis for like a lot of your assessments. So, the classic structure is kind of like, let’s say you’ve got a 12 week, 12 week proposal with an industry partner. The first six weeks might be like kind of research and you return a return brief being like, I think this is the direction we should go. The next six weeks will be developing that solution and you’ll have a certain marking criteria attached to how you implement like how implementable that solution was, and then usually after that you’ve got some reflection on the entire process. That’s what a pretty stock standard, BCII kind of semester looks like when you’re working with industry. I hope that answers the question.

Clancy  30:12

Awesome. And Lara, this, so the year of the fantastic year of 2020, you’ve worked with an industry partner remotely. Is that correct? So how does that work during COVID? How do you overcome this? This physical bridge when it comes to industry partners?

Lara  30:36

Yeah, that’s a really great question. And thank you for asking that one in the in the q&a. I think that actually COVID has been in some ways beneficial for the output of the of the team. So, we run it over zoom, usually, but teams have quite a lot of flexibility to make their structure work for them. So, I’m in my 4th year now, so I’ve been doing the whole year of BCII, and we basically have spent the whole first part of the year online. But we’ve really been able to get around challenges better than I expected. I must say, when I first found out about it, I was thinking, Oh, no, this is going to be really hard. But it actually gives you quite a lot of opportunities to take a break and to research things more, more deeply, rather than just keep going chatting, chatting going around in circles. But yeah, it’s actually been really, really good. And I think in terms of output, I know over the, at the start of the year actually, I did a subject called envisioning futures. And we were partnered with a firm which is working on a big 2050 plan for the area that’s out in the new Badgerys Creek airport development. So, the output that my team was able to get out of that was actually I reckon so much better than we would have been able to get, if we’ve done it in person. So, because we were forced to do it over zoom, we had to try and think about ways to present our ideas and our vision for what this future was going to be in a really unique way. And we ended up playing with all these like eight D sound technologies and made like an interactive experience where this would be in person, we may have just fallen into the trap of just getting up and having a slide deck and doing a presentation. So, although I know don’t want to go into clichés and then say as one door closes, like a window opens, like that really seemed to be the case, in my experience. And you are really lucky in the Faculty of transdisciplinary innovation who looks after the Bachelor of creative intelligence and innovation. You’ve got really great tutors and faculty members who had worked in so tirelessly to try and make things go as seamlessly as possible and I think more so than in my core degree. There’s really good communication with them. So, if you feel like something’s not working so well then it’s really easy to be able to say, Hey, can we give this a try? I think that sort of that open mindedness is something that’s really important in BCII. And it feeds down to even the way that the courses run. So, yeah, that’s been my experience so far.

Clancy  33:24

Fantastic, and just early a couple of months ago, when Ursula did Ursula and I did our school together, it was all completely online as well. And we felt, well, at least I felt the exact same thing in regards to the faculty. I was so incredibly grateful for the fact that I was doing this two week intensive school with the school of innovation instead of with, I guess, like any other faculty because I guess since starting BCII, I’ve just fallen in love with the faculty, and the way that they approach problems and the way that they kind of interact with their students. Yeah. Ursula is that reflected with you?

Ursula  34:11

Yeah, it’s the faculty that I feel really put their students first not to be critical of any other faculties at all, but, all semester one was online. So, for Clancy and myself, we just had the one two week intensive in BCII and then we had semester one in our core degrees and I was dreading it I was absolutely dreading the intensive because it’s such a social experience usually. Yeah, like it’s a really social degree. We sometimes do like we play dodgeball, in between classes. Sometimes there’s always a lot going on. So, I was dreading it, but it’s one where they, it wasn’t just zoom, which is what it’s been for most courses. It’s just been zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom all day. But with BCII, they found all these other platforms to collaborate. So, we had something called jam board, which is this thing where you can like write notes. And everyone can collaborate on this big, almost like a butcher’s piece of butcher’s paper on your screen. There were lots of drop in sessions. You could have one on one with one on one meetings with your tutor, there was a lot going on to make sure that you didn’t feel isolated at all. It felt just as collaborative. Like and I genuinely mean that it was just as collaborative as it is when it’s online, uh when it’s on campus.

Clancy  35:32

Yeah, for sure. We have, I’ll answer -so Amills question has been out there for a fair bit. So Amills question is, “not sure this has been asked before, but how important do you think the other degree you’re doing with, you’re doing it with, wait, how important do you think the other degree you are doing is regard to the course. So, for example, just doing a specific degree such as biotechnology or pre medicine feels slightly disconnected from the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation”. So as everyone can see, if you were here at the very beginning, so the four of us on the panel today, we are all from completely different faculties. And that’s where we’re from four of many faculties at UTS, and in the BCII, we have students from every single faculty. So in regards to specifically with biotechnology, and pre-med, from a science perspective, initially, I was very concerned with how BCII would fit together with chemistry. Because I was thinking how does what does creativity have to do with science? Science is very structural, we’re just we’re set out to achieve a goal and we do it. Whether right or wrong, it’s just like, get the facts. But I was very naive, I guess in my first year and before starting BCII and chemistry. And now I realised that if you do a, let’s say biotechnology degree, you don’t just do biotechnology subjects, and you don’t just interact with people that do doing biotechnology. And when you graduate from university, you don’t become a biotechnologist. You have this set of experience and you have this set of information that’s been packed into your brain. But you’re still who you are. And you’re not a biotechnologists. So, I’m not a chemist, I’m Clancy. And who Clancy is reaches so much further than just a chemist. Man, I like dogs, for example, that has nothing to do with chemistry. But strangely enough BCII kind of made me realise that dogs does have everything to do with chemistry, if I’m innovative enough about it. And I guess, coming back to the question, we have people that are doing midwifery, we have people that are doing criminal law. And these people can come together in a group, when normally if they were to meet in a normal work situation, it would most likely be a bit dysfunctional. Because I don’t think people who do midwifery, would necessarily be able to empathies with people who are doing criminal law, or doing physics. But by doing the degree, you get to build up this empathy for people from literally every single discipline. And because we’re interacting with the staff so closely, and the industry partners so closely, you get to build up this empathy for Adults, I suppose, you’re a young person at university and you realise that in your lunch break, you’re talking to someone who’s just taught you and somebody who’s been teaching at university for like 20 years. You’re talking to them about how much you love dogs. And it’s just a normal conversation. And that doesn’t really happen, in your core degree. So, when you leave University and you go into the big old world, I guess one of the points of BCII is that the integration from Uni into the workforce, it’s so fluid. You don’t have to do any sort of adapting because you’re already there as soon as you enter BCII. So there really isn’t a specific degree that you have to do. Just choose something that interests you, don’t think about what’s the best degree that’ll get me the best job potential. Because if you do it with BCII that’ll handle it for you. And yeah, already incredibly employable no matter what you combine with BCII, so just do something that you enjoy doing. Because otherwise you won’t enjoy University, don’t enjoy doing your core degree. Yeah. So, I guess that’ll tie in to a good one here, Lara, what do you think is the main advantage of studying the double degree instead of just the core degree? And I guess also, what is the main advantage of studying your core degree for you personally, with BCII as well. 

Lara  40:45

So, it’s hard to put into one single advantage, I think because there is just so many and so many leading to what you’re just saying Clancy about being a whole person and that you’re more than just the degree and that BCII really helps you to find the value in that. I think if you’re looking for sort of on a more a more technical level, that one of the real main advantages is that you’re actually working on real projects, literally from your very first school. I think that if I had just done business and finance, that I could have very easily gotten caught into this trap of just being in very sort of theoretical terms. And I think Ursula touched on that earlier as well. But the BCII lets you really get your hands dirty in a sense, and really try to tackle things and be able to just give it a go, which I think is something that’s just so invaluable. And it means that when you’re getting out into the workplace at the end, it’s not going to be the first time that you’ve spoken to an industry partner or had to try to problem solve or think critically in a way that’s really tangible. So, you come up streets ahead of the rest because that will be they’re very first time trying to do that. So, I think that’s a huge thing. On the employability question, which I think leads into some of the questions that were being asked in the q&a as well is that like it absolutely helps your employability.  I’ve been through the process of going through looking for what to do next year. And time and time again, you hear employers are looking for people who are like collaborators, problem solvers, and really ambitious. And I think that BCII just gives you the tenfold. And it doesn’t just give you it in a way that’s like, Oh, yeah, I’m collaborative, you actually have a chance to really build those skills in a way that is really meaningful. And it means that when you get to a job interview, you’re not just saying, oh, yes, I’m a good problem solver. You can say, yeah, I’m a good problem solver. I worked on this project with this person, and I was able to think about it this way. And you can just see the whole, the whole tone of the conversation that you’re having changed, which is amazing. And then I suppose my last point goes to the people in the community that is BCII. Because that is just so amazing. And if I compare it to my experience, just in business, I think that the BCII social and community feel it’s just so much higher. And I was trying to think about a way to explain it to you guys who are in high school at the moment. And I was thinking like, have you ever worked in a really good team, whether it be like a project team or a sports team, and you can just feel like everything is coming together and you’re getting that momentum? I think that’s what BCII is just you’re in a room with people who want to change the world and that energy is just so contagious. I feel like you always leave there standing taller and ready to face the world because you like yes, this is important and this is what I want to do. I want to go out and make a difference. So, I feel like in a very long winded way there, they were sort of my main advantages of BCII but I honestly couldn’t recommend it more.

Clancy  44:11

Awesome. I guess. So, we have 10/15 minutes left of the q&a session, we’ve heard a lot about our personal experiences and how we’ve interacted with BCII. And how BCII has interacted with us. And I guess it might be good to touch a bit on some cold hard facts. So, I’ll pass this over to Ursula and Joel, what is the workload like? Because a lot of the time when people look at the structure online, which is very bland, it’s just like, five lines or whatever. It can be a bit of a jolt, because it’s like, woah, two week intensive block, how does that work? sort of thing. So how does it work for you guys? What’s the workload like?

Ursula  45:00

I’ll speak to the two week intensives because I haven’t done fourth year yet. The two week intensives do live up to their name of being intense. But in the best way possible, I feel like BCII is much more like a, like a two week conference as opposed to two weeks of classes because it’s not just sitting at your laptop writing an essay. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written an essay in BCII, which is very thrilling. It’s much more about listening to industry experts and all these people coming in talking about things that they’re passionate about and that they love. It is something that, I always take those two weeks off work and I know some people work in the evenings and some people will work on the weekends. But basically, it is kind of nine to five Monday to Friday blocks and then you will have some work to do often, not always, but often in the evenings and on the weekends as well. So, it is a pretty full on two weeks  but it’s a really energising two weeks because you’re going to class every day. And you’re as like Lara said, like you do leave standing taller because everyone is there with so much passion and so much excitement and drive. And the people that are coming in to speak to you about BCII as well, or about whatever they’re an expert on, also have so much passion and drive for what they do, and so you never leave at the end of the two weeks going, Oh, you leave and you want to keep going. But it is yeah, it is pretty full on those two weeks, but in a good way.

Clancy  46:38

Awesome. And Joel, what about fourth year? How does that work?

Joel  46:41

Yeah, so I think fourth year, is like a great, it’s kind of like a testament to the faculty staff that have orchestrated the entire thing because I think there’s like a lot of like less elasticity within the degree. I’ve always like talking to a lot of my friends in third year, asking about like asking about it. I’ve always said like, you’ll get in like exactly, you’ll get out like exactly what you put in. So, if you are working on the side, there’s like absolutely time to do that. I mean, I’ve got two jobs now and I’m handling fourth year. I find that there’s like enough time to do everything. But I’ve also got a couple friends that are just engaging with it so hot and pouring, you know, like many, many, many hours per week into their project assignments and obviously, in turn received, like a very valuable educational experience for that. So, I think Yeah, I guess they I definitely want to harp on the fact that there is some flexibility in there and there is an opportunity to work there’s an opportunity to have relationships and go travelling and have fun and play sport and do every common lifestyle being on the side. But if you are looking for something to like absolutely kind of give yourself to as well then there is an opportunity to really get a great deal out of fourth year BCII as well.

Clancy  47:53

Awesome. After hearing all this, I feel excited like I am in year 12 again, I want to apply for the BCII. But what if I’m in year 12 and I’ve gotten my ATAR I go into the university admission centre. What if I don’t get the ATAR to get into the BCII Course? What alternatives do I have? I’ll ask you to answer this one Joel.

Joel  48:18

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I can see there is a comment in the chat about ATAR requirements as well. So, I think somebody might be able to share a link with us in a second about the current ATAR or at least last year’s ATAR requirements for all the courses from memory, because they are a bit volatile. And I imagine it would be during a pandemic as well. I’m not sure exactly if we can predict what will be next year. But perhaps last years would be a good indicator of what you should be kind of aiming for. Um, they are also different for each degree. So, for example, I know some degrees like BCII and law has a high ATAR requirement, then something like BCII and product design. Back when I was in year 12. I actually didn’t get I wasn’t even close to the grades I needed to get to get into BCII. So, I actually took an alternate pathway in, which is called the Diploma in innovation. So, the Diploma in innovation is similar to BCII. Um, it’s more or less the same thing with a bit more entrepreneurialism skew and no fourth year. So, it’s just the summer and winter schools during those three years during your core degree. And if you are doing the Diploma in Innovation and you graduate with a credit average, which is like 65, or maybe distinction, which is like 75, then you can actually transfer straight into second year BCII. So, you’ve got Person A and Person B, and person, you both start UTS the same time, you both complete your first year in the Faculty of transdisciplinary innovation, and if you get the grades you have the option to swap if you desire to. So that was how I ended up kind of finding my way into BCII without getting the marks I required. And the advantage of the diploma is you don’t need an ATAR to get into that. That’s something you can you can add in you can just apply for and most likely get in out on the side. And thank you, Michelle, for sharing last year’s ATARs on the chat. If everybody can see that.

Clancy  50:11

Thank you. I’ve got another question here from Elena, how large is the cohort of students in the course. So, at the moment, Ursula and I are in third year, and I think we have 250.

Ursula  50:31

I think so. Yeah. about that.

Clancy  50:33

Yeah. plus, minus a few.

Ursula  50:40

Yeah. Joel and Lara, in your guys cohort. It’s pretty significantly less than that, isn’t it?

Lara  50:49

Yeah, I think we had just over 100 so I feel bad for not like knowing the exact number because I know everyone there but I think between that would be 100 to like, 120 max would us. Yeah it is a little bit smaller. But I think also a thing to keep in mind is that because BCII is still at quite that cutting edge stages that it’s growing with every year. So, if you think about our cohort that was still four years ago. So yeah, I think even this year, we’ve seen, I think up to 400 people in the first year at the moment. So that goes to show in just our experience, and then the guys in third year to first year, just how much it is growing.

Ursula  51:33

The other thing with that is that you have the opportunity at the end of third year to graduate with your core degree and a diploma in innovation. If you don’t want to do that fourth year and graduate with the double degree. So that may also, I don’t know, talking for you now, Lara, but that might also be something that you will want to know about is that that is another option. You don’t have to make it the 4 year degree and perhaps that’s why there’s a smaller cohort now in fourth year and you can do your core degree and a diploma in innovation. You don’t have to do the four year double degree.

Clancy  52:09

Fantastic. So, we have just a few minutes left. So, I guess start to wrap it up in a tiny bit. So, if anyone has any final questions, please send them through. They preferably BCII related. But honestly, at this point, if I were in year 12, I would have loved to just talk to somebody in university about literally anything. So, you can shoot through some non BCII specific questions as well, if you feel like, but at the moment, while waiting for some questions to come through, we’re going to talk a bit about what advice we would give to our Year 12 self. If we’re in your shoes at the moment, or perhaps you’re in year 11 or you’ve graduated university you’ve graduated high school already, and you’re looking to get into university. What advice would we give to you guys? Who would like to shoot first?

Joel  53:05

Um, yeah, I’ll happily go because I had some. I’ve had a fantastic university experience at UTS so far, but had a lot of really gems, I guess, in the latter years of my degree, and I wish I had of known them first. So, I guess if I could go back or if I could talk to a younger version of me, I definitely tell them just like engage with like, absolutely everything. Like these universities like these crazy complex, like, so many things are going on, specifically at UTS as well. So, I would have yeah, apply to like the clubs, go to the days go to the events. You can go, like when you eventually get there you can just like travel for credit. Like you can like you know, like UTS will give you like thousands and thousands of dollars to go travelling for credit. Like we went to Indonesia,  UTS gave us like $10,000 to do that. We went to Israel UTS paid for that trip and I got like course credit for both of them. Like, there’s just like it’s crazy, it’s crazy. And I think if you like kind of keep your eyes open and actively investigate all the opportunities that you can take through UTS be that your core degree or BCII or other, I think you’ll have a really positive experience and you’ll gain a lot of valuable information moving forward and you have some great memories, I hope, as I do now.

Ursula  54:25

My advice to my year 12 very stressed self would be to calm down. It really doesn’t matter that much your ATAR feels like everything right now. But there are a million and 1 ways to get into Uni and you will get to wherever and beyond wherever you want to be. So, don’t, but I was the classic, I went so hard in year 11. So hard at the start of year 12, bombed my trials because I burnt out and then crawled my way to the finish line. And it was a waste of time because honestly, you can just, there is so many different ways into uni. So, don’t stress too much about it. Because you will, no one’s going to ask you about your ATAR once you leave school and if they do then they’re an odd person. So just don’t stress too much.

Lara  55:16

Yeah, I would literally exactly same thing. I was much like a full on stress head and I wish that I’d taken just a deep breath. Everything’s going to be okay. And also, Yeah, as Joel said, that was going to be my second point. Just try and be a yes man wherever possible, like the more that you say yes to doing things, the more things that will come up and the better experience you’ll have. I can definitely see a turning point in my first year. I was a little bit unengaged, which is less active, and then I made a choice to actually stop getting involved and it was honestly just changed the whole trajectory. So, I’d encourage people to do that from the very start.

Clancy  55:56

My final kind of advice as well, I guess for year 12, would definitely be to explore other passions that you have, aside from what you’re studying at university, while at university as well. Because you’ll be incredibly surprised with how well if you’re studying law, you’ll be very surprised at how well law can combine with your passion for being a goalkeeper. Like I was very surprised with how well my passion for chemistry has combined with my passion for music in a surprising surprising way, it’s almost magical. But yeah, it’s worked out perfectly. And I definitely do not regret putting a lot of hours into exploring other passions as well, because it will compliment your BCII experience and also your core degree experience so much more as well. Yeah. So, I think that’s all we have for today. It’s 6:01. So, Ursula if you’d like to wrap up.

Ursula  57:09

Yeh so thank you so much everyone for joining us. If you do, Joel just chucked it into the chat, thanks, Joel just chucked it into the chat. If you do have any questions, you can jump online tomorrow, there’ll be a bunch of different students, who will be there, you can have a one on one chat with any of us. You can also email us, email us at and follow us on our social media channels. And you can message us on that as well if you have any other questions, so please reach out. We’re always happy to help and thank you so much for joining us. Good luck with year 12 hopefully it doesn’t consume you completely because it will all be okay in the end we promise. Thanks, everyone.

Lara  57:55

Thanks everyone.

Joel  57:56

Thanks guys.

Clancy  57:58

Thank you.