Think playing video games leads nowhere? Think again. Swinburne Online student Ben Smith recently travelled to the UK to represent Australia thanks to his skills in online racing.
Last year, Ben joined the GT Academy, a collaboration between Playstation and Nissan to make a game player into a real professional race car driver. Alongside 28 other hopefuls he was put through physical, driving and media tests before being selected in a team of six to be sent to the international finals in the UK.
“We were based at the Silverstone racing circuit, where we were constantly being judged and monitored on our performances in cars from Nissan GTRs to Formula cars as well as a bunch of physically demanding challenges.
“It was a lot of fun, but also quite serious and one of the most important and challenging experience of my life to date. So it was disappointing to be eliminated when we made it to the pointy end of the competition.”
Through this demanding schedule, 19 year-old Ben still managed to stay on top of his online studies.
“It was definitely challenging fitting studies in with life. In all I was away from home for one third of teaching period one, with limited internet access at times, a very hectic and secretive schedule, and with limited downtime.
These factors made it challenging for Ben to keep up to date with learning content and the assessments, but with careful planning and determination, the Bachelor of Business student finished the teaching period with flying colours, scoring his first distinction.
“Prior to the start of the teaching period, I was able to see what assessments we had and at what point they were due. I planned my study so I was able to get some assessments done before I left, and while I was away there was only one online test assessment which I had a time frame of three days to complete, which meant I could plan this around my schedule.
“The way Swinburne Online has our learning set out is really easy to grasp and keep up with. Each week there are a bunch of tasks and reading posted in each unit meaning it is easy to know where you’re at, in terms of your studies. The online ‘Vital Source’ text books also mean there’s no extra hand luggage weighing you down!”
Ben hopes to work in management when he finishes his studies, which have turned out to be the perfect fit for the avid gamer.
“Choosing to study online was a no brainer as the only time I actually need to physically be somewhere is for exams. I fit my studies in an around my full time job, hobbies and interests, most of which will continue to take me around the world.”