Grammar School graduate keen to 'spread his wings'
A NERVOUS wait came to an emotional end for Tomas Beak; computer at the ready to check his score at the tick of midnight.
"I wasn't sure what result I was going to get,” he said.
"I looked, I started crying... it's probably the first time I have showed emotion in years.
"I thought I was going to get a two or three, as opposed to a one.”
The result came in the wake of more good news for the Rockhampton Grammar School graduate, who successfully applied for a rural student scholarship worth $11,000 to attend the University of New South Wales.
Tomas plans to study engineering, with hopes to focus on chemical engineering.
"It was because it had the best course for what I wanted to do,” he said.
"I wanted to spread my wings and be independent by myself, not keep living under the wing of my mum... I knew I didn't want to go north because it's so hot.
"Sydney was the obvious choice for me.
"I can't stop smiling most of the time... I can't stop thinking about it.
"It's really nice to know my efforts have paid off.”
Following in his grandfather's footsteps, Tomas said he has a fair idea of what lies ahead.
"All through school I loved maths and sciences; my grandfather was an engineer. (I am interested in) chemical engineering... you can do lots of different things, it's a really diverse career option.
"It's mostly about processes, small scale production and large scale.”
He said it could take him anywhere from the mines, waste water treatment or helping to produce KitKats.
But Tomas was particularly interested in reverse osmosis - treating any water into drinkable water - when he visited the UNSW. "One of the biggest issues is about water treatment, eventually the resource is going to deplete and we won't be able to sustain ourselves.”
He said while he might return to his rural home, he hopes it is a career path which could take him across the world.
His love for travel was sparked by the highlight of his schooling career, when he went on a Japan exchange.
"I love that being able to talk to people that I had no connection to and be able to communicate in language the school taught me,” he said.