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Michelle Doolan

Michelle Doolan
Civil Engineer

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Time at Aurecon: 2 years
Degree completed: Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Civil Engineering) and Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Unconventional thinker

When I started my degree, I really had no idea where it would take me. I had a passion for all things technical, creative and innovative. I, like many idealistic university students, wanted to change the world. Engineering seemed like the right fit – and now I know it is.

With rapid population growth continually increasing the strain on our resources, infrastructure and housing, the world will experience significant challenges in the future. It is engineering that provides the foundation for society to thrive – and, as such, it will be engineers who will solve some of our greatest challenges.

My experience with Aurecon

In the two years since graduating and joining Aurecon, I have already experienced and learnt so much! From working on both the consulting and government sides of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, to owning my own design packages on major projects, such as the Furlong Main Heatherdale and Blackburn Level Crossing Removals projects in Victoria.

The rail and people teams have always got my back. My colleagues keep me engaged and foster continuous learning. They point out development opportunities such as scholarships, secondments, conferences and competitions that I should strive to attend or enter. In 2016, I applied for an ‘innovation pitch’ competition for young professionals working in rail. I pulled together an idea from my experiences with Aurecon and my secondment with Melbourne Metro Rail Authority. To my surprise, I took home the inaugural Australian Railway Association (ARA) innovation pitch trophy!

My strongest Aurecon Attribute is "unconventional thinker". Through the work I have done, and my achievements to date, I can see how this attribute has helped me to innovate and deliver great outcomes for my clients and my career. If you are eager to learn and would like opportunities to take your career to new heights, then I would definitely say that Aurecon is the place for you.

My best advice for graduates

I think many university students place too much emphasis on grades, exams and assignments. While these are obviously important, I have come to realise it pays to look at the bigger picture. Many engineers can design, programme, calculate and draw – being slightly better at any of those won’t really make you stand out. You need to get out there, go to networking events, meet people, learn about companies and engage with their representatives to be noticed.

The last thing you want to be is an anonymous name in an online job application system. You want your name to be recognised, and you want to be able to build a connection with your prospective employers. If you’re a bit shy or need some help – I’d encourage you to find a mentor. There are various professional bodies around that offer this type of support, and networking will help you meet likeminded individuals keen and willing to help. Lastly, I would say learning about a potential future employer’s culture, and deciding if it is a good ‘fit’ is very important. The old cliché’ of being yourself and the right opportunity will arise I believe is really true. Just put yourself out there and the rest will come.

 

James Shirley

James Shirley
Civil Engineer

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Time at Aurecon: 2 years
Degree completed: Master of Civil Engineering, University of Melbourne
Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Inquisitive

My experience with Aurecon

I joined Aurecon after completing my Masters degree at University of Melbourne. Engineering was not a field that I first considered as I did my Bachelor’s degree in International Business. However, I was drawn to pursue engineering because I believe it can make a tangible difference to the lives of people and communities.

When I first started I was part of the Infrastructure team as I was interested in transport systems and city development. Today I work in the Digital Futures team project managing and designing new digital solutions for our clients. Already within my career at Aurecon I have experienced and enjoyed the diversity of our people and our projects. I am always developing a range of new technical and non-technical skills. Many of the managers that I’ve worked with here balance the working styles and flexibility that different people require.

One of the latest initiatives at Aurecon that excited me is the focus on a new set of attributes that will differentiate our teams and our offerings to our clients. I believe my strongest Aurecon Attribute is "Inquisitive". Through asking the right questions to colleagues and our clients, I've been able to uncover useful resources for projects, and ensure our work is both useful and commercial.

My best advice for graduates

My advice for graduates would be to bring your unique self into an organisation. I started in a highly technical role then looked for branching projects to help myself grow into a career that I enjoy, and allows my strongest skills and attributes to be used. No one is going to know exactly what you want except for you, so trust yourself take risks early, be collaborative, open and ambitious. I would also say listen to all advice, but if it doesn’t feel right then don’t act on it.

I encourage graduates to network with colleagues, and not to be shy to put your ideas out there. When I joined Aurecon I pitched an idea to the CEO through my own initiative, and later it was put forward to clients. I believe you only get out of your career what you put in, so you have be the driving force behind your success. 

To apply or find out how you can reach your full potential at Aurecon, visit www.aurecongroup.com/graduate

 

Cass Kenworthy

Cass Kenworthy
Transportation Engineer, Global Chair of Limelight

Location: Auckland, Newzealand
Time at Aurecon: 3 years
Degree completed: Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) Hons, University of Auckland
Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Engaging

I pursued a career in engineering after realising my passion for mathematics and complex problem solving while studying biomedical science.

During my Honours year of my Bachelors degree, I completed an internship at Auckland Transport working in the Public Transport Capital Development team. Here I worked on various bus and rail projects with several design consultancies, including Aurecon. I applied to Aurecon’s graduate programme because I thought they were one of the most engaging consultancies. I also appreciated that to be a good engineer, I needed experience working in a consultancy environment.

My experience with Aurecon

Unlike similar organisations Aurecon doesn’t have a formal rotation programme, which means you can focus on your area of interest from the outset. Over the years I have been given the opportunity to contribute to many multimodal projects within the transport planning team.

Being able to articulately communicate and the ability to work with a diverse range of people is an important skill to develop as an engineer. I believe that my strongest Aurecon Attribute is "engaging", which has helped me significantly to get my projects over the line.

A key achievement for me is being selected as Global Chair for Limelight – Aurecon’s emerging professionals’ programme which aims to promote a culture of innovation, involvement and improvement. In this role, I support Limelight committees and encourage emerging professionals across Aurecon to help bring ideas to life. Fundamental to my role is engaging senior business leaders to set the Limelight Strategy Plan, as well as coordinating global events, and chairing monthly meetings.

My best advice for graduates

I encourage aspiring engineers to gain as much relevant work experience as possible while studying. This helps to get your foot in the door when applying for jobs and gives you an advantage.

Aurecon has a great reputation in the market place and I often hear complimentary feedback about its work and people. This is a great motivator for me – I feel proud to work for such a highly regarded consultancy. Delivering excellent client experience is critical and is at the forefront of what we strive to do.

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