How college life exceeded Imogen Smith-Waters’ expectations

By Paulette Trevena

Living at Trinity College provides students opportunities to get involved in many things, including sport, tutorials, music, social events, volunteering, and even travel. And in Imogen’s case, she made the most of every opportunity that came her way.

Imogen Smith Waters Trinity CollegeAs a student at Geelong Grammar School, Imogen Smith-Waters had a natural flair for English, so going on to study a Bachelor of Arts in media and communications seemed like a natural fit. But when Imogen also took on a Diploma in Global Issues as part of her Melbourne University studies, she began delving into the world of international relations and her interests took a new direction.

Going on to postgraduate study in law (Juris Doctor), Imogen explored the relationship between technology and law through electives like cyber law and intellectual property.

She now uses this knowledge as a consultant at Deloitte Australia in the increasingly important and complex field of data privacy and cyber security.

While an open-minded approach to university studies led Imogen to an interesting career, she also picked up a range of soft skills and extracurricular activities at Trinity College, where she lived on campus while studying.

The transition to on-campus living was smooth for Imogen, who had boarded at Geelong Grammar, and the process of choosing a college was also relatively straightforward. ‘A family friend who had gone to Trinity shared some fun stories of his college days with me and recommended Trinity,’ remembers Imogen. ‘I’m glad I followed this recommendation, because college life exceeded my expectations.’

While adjusting to university, Imogen found the routine of college life helpful, and loved meeting different people, enjoying lively conversations over meals, and trying lots of new things.

‘I made the most of life at Trinity. You meet lots of different people and can get involved in all sorts of experiences. There were always events and balls to look forward to, as well as spontaneous shenanigans with friends in your corridor,’ she says. ‘I joined the rowing squad, volunteered as a tutor, ran social events, worked in the library and dining hall, and hosted alumni guest speakers as part of the Oak Program. I also played the violin in the orchestra, was in the musical one year, and sang with a cappella group the Candystripes.’

Other highlights of her time at college included trips to the Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea.

‘I was born in the NT but hadn’t experienced it as an adult. In Minyerri near Katherine, we lived in the community for a week, participating in school activities to learn about the local culture and education system. Travelling to Arnhem Land was a cultural immersion; we visited different homelands to learn about history, land, language, music, food and traditions. These were eye-opening experiences and it was a privilege to experience these cultures and see such stunning parts of Australia,’ she says.

‘Another trip was a leadership challenge where a group of Trinity students travelled to Papua New Guinea. We walked the Kokoda Track and learned about its history and PNG culture. These activities gave me a greater awareness of both Australia and Papua New Guinea, and how we engage with our closest neighbours. It was fascinating to see diverse cultures and different ways of life.’

Imogen says these experiences helped shaped her outlook on life and would highly recommend that students moving to college take up the opportunities on offer. ‘Be willing to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. After all, you are still in a supportive environment,’ she says.

For Imogen, the support went beyond sport and culture, as she also made the most of the academic program available. As a postgraduate student, Imogen was the recipient of the Maurice Hurry Scholarship for law students at Trinity, and found her college tutorials invaluable in helping her excel at her studies. ‘I got a lot out of tutorials, bouncing ideas around with another cohort of people. This made a big difference to me. Two of my tutors in particular – Emma Henderson and Kate Crowhurst –­­­­­ ­­were amazing,’ she says.

‘I lived in one of the Trinity houses on Royal Parade, which gave me an independent life with more space, but I still liked being part of the Trinity environment through sport, mealtimes, friendship and connections with other postgrads. It was a good balance between college life and my own space.’


28 Sep 2020