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Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering graduate Arkias Kasonga says he’s “proud to be the first engineer in his family.” Having been deeply involved in the fabric of college life at South East Technological University (SETU) for three years, Arkias says a personable approach to education and a lively clubs and socs scene were instrumental in achieving his academic goals.

Obtaining a college degree has long been my top priority of mine, and being the first qualified engineer in my family was the icing on top. An incredibly proud moment.

SETU Graduate, Arkias Kasonga

A personal approach

SETU helped me so much over the last three years. I had the opportunity to meet such wonderful lecturers who always took the time to offer constructive feedback in a particular area. They instilled a continuous improvement mindset which encouraged me to achieve what I always knew I was capable of. One major takeaway from my time at SETU was that you're not just a number – lecturers always took the time to ask how things were going if they sensed you weren't being yourself.


I was interested in the manufacturing side of engineering, specifically how a product can be taken from a conceptual stage to a more physical form. SETU's Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering was the perfect vehicle for me to further my skillset in this regard. One of the core skills obtained to help me in the working world was enhancing my ability to problem solve. Problem-solving skills are essential for developing innovative solutions and thinking creatively. Engineers often encounter unique challenges that require creative thinking to develop efficient and effective solutions. The problem-solving skills I learned during my time at SETU also improved my ability to adapt in a world where industry needs are constantly evolving. 

Clubs and societies 

I firmly believe that a healthy clubs and socs scene is key to fostering a vibrant learning environment. During my time at SETU, I was involved in a variety of clubs and societies.

In my first year, I played with SETU's football team before moving on to play futsal in second year. Outside sport, I was an active member of SETU's Afro Society which exposed me to so many amazing people from different cultures. I was also elected Manufacturing Engineering class representative in my third year at the University.

Make friends and be humble 

One valuable piece of advice I would give to prospective SETU students is to socialise. You may not get along with everyone on your first day, but as you progress, you'll undoubtedly find people who share your interests. Another piece of advice is to be humble. If people around you notice you're a kind, helpful and grounded individual they'll always set time aside to help you. 


One of my proudest moments was the day I graduated from SETU with a Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering. I've wanted to work as an engineer ever since developing an interest in the field while studying at my old secondary school in Athy, Co. Kildare. The achievement demonstrated my determination and resilience to achieve my goals. Obtaining a college degree has long been my top priority of mine, and being the first qualified engineer in my family was the icing on top. An incredibly proud moment. 

Exploring options

I'm keeping an open mind as to what the future holds. I discovered that engineering is a broad career sector as I progressed through my studies. I don't want to limit myself to one particular path just yet. After all, I'm still in my early 20s and I'd like to explore each sector before settling on my future path.