Yifan Qin, Civil Engineer
||University of Melbourne
||Master of Engineering (Civil)
|Strongest Aurecon Attribute:
My experience with Aurecon
Over a five-year journey, I obtained a Diploma of Music degree with a Bachelor of Science degree. I combined my love for the arts and science into a more tangible career by then going on to study a Master of Engineering degree. After university, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer from Aurecon – and so my career as a civil engineer officially began.
My specific civil design experiences at Aurecon are mainly in the fields of drainage design, road geometric design and earthwork design for large-scale industrial subdivision projects, major infrastructure projects and building development projects.
Drainage design ensures runoff from rainfall is safely conveyed to the desired discharge locations. Road geometric design positions the physical elements of the roadway to optimise efficiency and safety while reducing cost and impacts to the environment. Earthwork design determines how the existing earth surface should be processed and constructed to cater for various engineering projects.
So far, I have been fortunate to work on the Melbourne Airport road design and various Melbourne Water civil assets. These projects will contribute to the city’s liveability now and into the future. It’s really cool to think that my drawing and plans become tangible structures in real life. This excites and motivates me to design innovative solutions which make the world a better place.
A day at Aurecon can involve attending design meetings to collaborate with the architect and the project owner to improve design solutions. On other days, I go onsite to inspect project construction and answer the builders’ queries. By interacting with different stakeholders on a regular basis, I’ve learnt how to effectively present, communicate, and explain complicated technical jargon to teams and clients. My diverse responsibilities are rewarding because it helps build my technical and commercial skills while allowing me to find balance between working independently and as part of a team.
My development doesn’t stop at project work. As a part of Aurecon’s graduate programme, there are no rigid schedules. There’s flexibility and options to pursue your passions and plan your career to achieve your goals. If you want to focus on the technical side of engineering, you could become a technical director and ‘deep dive’ into a specialised field. Alternatively, you could consider a design manager role where you’d manage a large design package for prominent projects.
You could also join the contractor side to learn more about the construction of projects, or morph into an advisory role and project management.
The opportunities provided don’t stop at work – they extend to your interests outside of work too. Aurecon’s networks and ‘Yes Flex’ flexible working policy has allowed me to mentor two university students as part of Melbourne University’s ‘Access Mentorship’ programme. The programme is designed to connect undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds with working professionals. I love being able to help others through this initiative, and to see them grow.
My best advice to graduates
- Spend more time pursuing your genuine interests – once you start working full-time, your passions will show, and you’ll be recognised for it sooner.
- It’s okay to slow down a little and to purposefully craft your life and career. Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
- Get to know people within the industry and attend more events. It will help you in the long run. Don’t be shy! Connect with and message them on LinkedIn. The world is willing to help you grow more than you imagine.