The journey to become an Engineer is long, difficult and often challenging. But it is one of the most worthwhile and satisfying things I've ever done. Plus there is a tonne of memes to help you get through!
The academic challenges are very rewarding and fulfilling as you make your way through the degree. To compliment the academic journey is a very strong practical emphasis that prepares a young engineer for the professional world.
There is a requirement to complete 60 days of work experience to graduate as an Engineer in Australia. Now this is where it gets tricky and even scary. 60 days is a long time, and is a big commitment for a company to train and monitor a new baby engineer. So I needed to stand out from the crowd, make an impression.
When the application process commenced I updated my resume, cover letter, threw on my best threads and started introducing myself to every single engineering company and their dog on the Sunshine Coast. I received rejection after rejection, the classic ‘maybe try later’ or ‘sorry we don’t have the work’. The rejections reminded me of grade 7 blue light discos, not getting a dance.
I made some changes to my resume, took on some extra curricula’s and joined some social clubs and guess what?! The next company offered me a gig as an Undergraduate Engineer. Shadforths Civil Engineering is a well-known company on the Coast that is involved in many developments and community organisations and I was the latest team member.
I started working on the Bells Creek Arterial, on the Caloundra South Development in a series of teams. Every day was different, exciting and fulfilling. One day I would be monitoring water quality in sediment basins and the next learning to drive dump trucks and excavators. I learnt how to communicate with the client, which was Stocklands, I built relationships with the Shadforths hierarchy and even got to get my hands dirty with the labourers.
Joining a new company does not limit a person to just stay within the office. I joined the company’s OZ tag team, went to social golf days and dinners.
Before I could blink, my 60 days had come to an end. On the last Friday afternoon I went to meet up with the team, to what I thought was my farewell. That didn’t happen. Instead I was offered an ongoing role throughout my final year of study! I was absolutely stoked and that is where I am now.
By James Ghent.