Updating Results

Downer Group

  • 50,000 - 100,000 employees

Jeffrey Or

Being able to see the public catching the trains and trams that I’ve worked on brings a great sense of satisfaction and it feels that you are contributing to society.

What's your job about?

My employer Downer is a large integrated services company that is heavily involved with various industries in Australia. I am currently a Graduate Engineer in Downer’s Rail business. Downer’s Graduate Program provides me with an opportunity to rotate into different areas of the business to gain a wider understanding of how the business operates and where I would like to further develop my career. My current rotation involves working on the manufacturing of passenger trains for the Sydney (SGT) and Melbourne (HCMT) network. My role requires me to assist my managers and other engineers in various engineering tasks, from looking up different components in an engineering drawing to physically being on-site and inspecting issues raised from the production staff during manufacturing. I am also responsible to convey and feedback any issues from engineering to production, design, quality and methods team members; any problem which requires engineering input. My role with Downer has taken me to many places and not just interstate! I first joined the company for induction in Sydney and the moment our induction was finished, I was relocated to Melbourne to start on my first project. For my 2nd project, I am currently in China, working alongside the largest Rail manufacturer to oversee the manufacturing of some of our major cities’ trains!

What's your background?

I grew up in Sydney South West.

I was born in Hong Kong and lived there till I was 6, then as mentioned above I moved to Sydney and grew up there ever since. I went through basic public schools and entered University in Sydney through your normal HSC path. From there I chose to be an engineer with a focus in mechanical/ mechatronics major. During my time at university, I undertook 3 separate internships which were heavily involved in manufacturing and mechanical design. I applied for my current job during the last semester of university. I had previously applied for another role with Downer however I was unsuccessful. Although I was informed by HR that their graduate program would be a much better fit for me and had recommended me to apply for that instead. I have been with Downer since the start of February 2018.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, I believe someone with a different background can do my job. Even though having previous technical knowledge would be very beneficial in my role, I strongly believe that if you are willing to learn and are able to adapt quickly it will be possible to do the job I am doing now. As mentioned, the characteristics that I believe is needed would be:

  • Willingness to learn
  • Adaptability
  • Good communication skills
  • Logical approach to problem solving

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is that I can see the project I work on out in the public and being used by the commuters. Being able to see the public catching the trains and trams that I’ve worked on brings a great sense of satisfaction and it feels that you are contributing to society. I enjoy working on site over being in front of a computer, being able to physically see and inspect the work you do is very important to me. Being involved in rolling stock I am always excited to see what I have produced in an office is being physically implemented into our products which I can inspect.

What are the limitations of your job?

There are definitely responsibilities to my role, having to work weekends on occasion and being out on site consistently simply becomes part of the job. As I mentioned above, I am currently situated overseas which does involve being away from family, friends and generally being out of your comfort zone. There are also times during the job where you would feel very pressured and under stress as multiple issues can appear one after the another or at the same time, leaving you with no time and sometimes a lack of guidance to how to complete them.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

The three advice that I would have for myself is:

  • Be open-minded – don’t have a set path you want to follow, you can never know whether you will like a certain role or industry until you’ve experienced it.
  • Get out of your comfort zone – the best way to learn is to be out of your comfort zone, the moment you feel comfortable it means you’ve become stagnant and you have stopped learning.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask – always ask questions whenever you don’t understand something, there is no point in not asking when you are stuck. This becomes very important when you start working where you will carry responsibilities and not know how to do something or how something works can be detrimental.