Meet the Class of 2017: Katie Liew

1 June 2017

From the glimmers of exam panic to moments of pride; the stress of juggling life and work and study to the discovery of inner triumphant superheroes; with fire alarms, salsa classes and moments of hilarity in between – five of our newest graduates share their stories and tips for enjoying every moment at UTS.

Katie LiewKatie Liew

Master of Marketing 2017

What inspired you to study at UTS?

UTS is a world-renowned university with a flair for creativity and I wanted a marketing degree that could harness my creativity and help me on my journey. It’s also in a convenient location, not far from work so was easy enough to get to and from work and uni and home.

What does graduating from UTS mean to you?

It means I've accomplished something GRAND! Being able to complete a degree all whilst being very busy has showed me that I'm strong and I'm a powerful woman!

What’s your favourite campus memory?

It's the little things that count. UTS knows how hard mature age students work and offers postgraduate students coffee and tea during our late night classes. This was really nice as it showed they care.

Another favourite is remembering the people you meet along the way. It doesn't matter if you are introverted or extroverted. You are all there for the same reason and this brings a sense of togetherness between all the students.

Tell us about the journey of your degree

When I decided to take on this degree, life was pretty simple. I worked full-time and had a loving boyfriend. I decided to take on 2 subjects a semester as I liked to challenge myself. Part of the way through my degree my boyfriend proposed and so came the wedding planning. I took 12 months off (six months prior to the wedding and six months after the wedding) and this gave me an opportunity to enjoy the final planning stages of the wedding and experience some downtime with my new husband. This was in 2014.

In 2015 things took a bit of a turn. I found out my mum had an auto-immune disease which had ultimately destroyed both her kidneys and required a transplant. For the next year mum undertook tests and was on lots of medication to try and slow down the disease until she could find a donor. All the while this was going on I continued to study and work full-time, and was also considering a family of my own.

In May 2017 my husband and I bought a beautiful house and moved in. Then one week later my mother and father came to live with us for an extended period of time as Mum was due to have a kidney transplant. Dad wasn't a match but he donated his kidney to someone else so mum could get a kidney. Before surgery we told them that I was pregnant and due in February 2017.

The hardest part of the degree was in 2016. I was the primary carer for both my mum and dad while they both were recovering from the transplant. I was taking them to the hospital every day at 7am while I was in the early stages of pregnancy and while working full-time and doing two subjects at uni. Knowing that graduation was possible if I did three subjects in the spring semester I decided to give it a go and did three subjects whilst heavily pregnant, looking after Mum and working full time.

I made it through this period of time and gave birth to my son in mid-January. My husband was a massive support to me and my family during this time, which made it possible for me to achieve my degree and be able to graduate.

What's the best advice or lesson you learned during your time at uni?

Everyone is different which means that you can't paint everyone with the same brush. Some people need a helping hand whilst others prefer to be independent but learning to work with all types of people will really help you at uni and in the workforce. It's what makes a great leader.

What are you passionate about achieving in your post-degree journey?

Obviously being a mum is something that I'm doing right now but that doesn't mean I can't be super mum and still have a career. It just means my focus is more about choosing a place that I can work where I can really use my degree to help others.

What words of wisdom do you have for new students starting out in their studies?

Believe that you can do it, surround yourself with likeminded people - people who are willing to learn with you. Don't be afraid to ask for help and always remember that it's your journey so create your own story. Don't live through someone else's story.

Read more stories from the Class of 2017

Neus Pelegri Michael Drew

Neus Pelegri
Bachelor of Science
in Biomedical
Science (Honours) 2017

Michael Drew
Master of Business
Administration 2017

Andrew Hoang Monica George

Andrew Hoang
Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Science in
Information Technology 2017

Monica George
Master of Business
Administration 2017
and current MBA student

Katie Liew Share your story

Katie Liew
Master of
Marketing 2017

Share your story
Where has your
UTS journey taken you?