Charlie Baylis talks about finding his tribe and his confidence at college

By Paulette Trevena

Former Geelong Grammar student Charlie Baylis tells of his transition to life at college at the University of Melbourne and beyond.

Charlie Baylis_Geelong Grammar_Trinity CollegeCharlie Baylis knows the value of finding a community. As a boarder at Geelong Grammar, his school friends became almost like family, so when it came to university, he was naturally drawn to the college lifestyle in an attempt to find his tribe. He landed at Trinity College at the University of Melbourne and couldn’t have been happier with his decision. ‘Trinity College was the best three years of my life,’ he says. ‘I loved the lifestyle, I developed new skills, and I made so many new friends from a huge range of backgrounds. It’s a fostering place that gives you a lot of confidence.’

While at Trinity, Charlie began his studies in chemical engineering before switching to geology. A keen science student at school, Charlie developed an appreciation for the natural world while growing up in a farming community near Geelong, so geology naturally aligned to his interests. He now also sees added value in the field as the mining and construction industries continue to grow, despite current economic challenges, and is happy to have landed his ‘dream career’ working for a geotechnical engineering consultancy in the construction industry as well as remotely for BHP as a geotechnical engineer in mining.

Charlie says his move from school to college greatly assisted him in his transition to university and the workforce. ‘[Going to Trinity] removed a lot of variables that would have made it hard for me to leave home. I felt like I was coming into a supportive environment straight away, and having academic support like study groups was really valuable,’ he says. ‘In particular, being able to access academic staff out of hours made a big difference to me. I think if I had to study in an isolated way without that support around me, I don’t know if I would have been as successful.’

Charlie was also able to continue his school passions while at college. In his earlier years at Geelong Grammar, Charlie was involved in school plays and was a keen rower. As part of the Geelong Grammar 1st Eight team, he competed in the Victorian APS Heads of the River competition.  

At Trinity College, Charlie went on to become a member of the Trinity rowing team from first year and credits his rowing involvement for helping him make many instant friends. ‘Getting into rowing early at college was a great way to make friends with a range of people,’ he says. ‘In second year, I was proud to captain the 1st Eight rowing team, which won the intercollegiate boat race competition. I’ll always remember that as a highlight.’

Charlie Baylis with his parents at a college rowing regatta

And his friendships, of course, will also be long cherished. ‘I will always be close friends with the people I spent a lot of time with from Geelong Grammar, but I felt it was essential to get to know the wide range of people that attended Trinity and expand my group of friends. [At college] it’s definitely worthwhile trying lots of different sports and activities and immersing yourself in everything there is to offer,’ says Charlie.

Since leaving college, Charlie has continued to foster connections with his fellow college alumni through Trinity’s online networking platform, My Trinity Connect, understanding the ongoing benefit of being immersed in a strong community – a concept cemented during his school days. ‘It’s important to reach out, get to know different people, and make the most of your opportunities.’  

03 Aug 2020