How did you get your current position?
I applied for quite a few graduate positions, including the Graduate Structural Engineer position in the Bridges team that AECOM had advertised. I ended up receiving offers from some other companies, but the outcome from AECOM was still going to take a few weeks. Although I really wanted to work with the AECOM Bridges team, I was scared that I could end up with no job if I didn’t accept one of the offers that I already had. I discussed this situation with one of the committee members of the Young Engineers committee and he was a graduate at AECOM. He had a discussion with some managers within the company and they ended up fast-tracking my application because they were actually interested. It was a great outcome as I ended up in the role that I wanted all along.
What inspired you to study engineering?
I ended up choosing civil engineering as my university course when I was 17 years old. It was really hard for me to understand at that age what engineers do. I knew that I liked architecture, but I was better at physics and mathematics than the creative arts. Civil engineering seemed like the closest thing to architecture, where I could apply the skills that I was good at. Although my initial decision may not have been the most passionate one, during university I was able to see the endless career possibilities that engineering had to offer and the importance of the profession. The more I learned about engineering, the more I knew that it was the correct choice for me.
Why did you become a member of Engineers Australia?
During my Masters by Research degree, I felt like I was becoming a bit isolated from the engineering profession. It is very easy to become so focused on your research to the point that you end up not seeing the bigger picture. I joined Engineers Australia so I could attend events and be up to date with the engineering world that was outside of my research bubble and be able to have a meaningful discussion with people that may have gone through similar experiences.
Suppose a student was considering your career, what skills should they develop?
I would suggest that they develop their communication and writing skills. As students, we often underestimate how much writing we will be doing as engineers. Although our studies are mainly focused on mathematical calculations, in the real world, there is a lot of writing and communication involved in our daily tasks. In addition to being a necessity, good communication can also help us save a lot of time by doing things correctly the first time around.
How does being a part of Engineers Australia benefit your career?
Being a part of Engineers Australia has allowed me to meet so many inspiring engineers who have done some amazing work. This inspiration is so important because it gives me the motivation to be the best professional that I can be. I’ve also made friends with so many people who go through the same challenges that I face, and this gives me a great sense of community and support. Additionally, the roles that I’ve taken within Engineers Australia have given the ability to develop some skills that I wouldn’t be able to develop otherwise in these early stages of my career, and it makes me a much more well-rounded professional.
What do you love most about your role with Engineers Australia?
I love the fact that I get to work with other motivated young engineers to deliver events that will benefit our community. It is so rewarding to be able to talk to many young engineers and understand the challenges they face and possibly offer some advice. I also like the fact that my role, and the amount of responsibility that comes with it, means that I am often out of my comfort zone trying different things and learning more about myself.
What is your best piece of advice for graduating engineers?
My best piece of advice is to not be afraid to ask for what you want or need. Things will usually not happen if you sit around and wait. If you are genuine and passionate and you share your goals with others, they will try to help you get to where you want to be. Just don’t forget to do the same for your friends and colleagues when they need your help as well.