25 August 2016
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.