Jithari gains valuable insights into the world of engineering consulting
An internship is the perfect time to experiment and try out different things. This is what Jithari Bamunusinghe realised during her two summer internships at Aurecon, where she was able to work with two different teams.
Jithari received tremendous support from her team and gained valuable insights into the world of civil engineering consulting.
She also learned a lot about Aurecon's values and work practices, which made her realise it was the perfect fit for her career.
|University of Auckland
|Bachelor of Engineering (honours), Civil and Environmental Engineering
What inspired you to study civil engineering?
I decided to pursue a career in civil engineering because of my passion for the outdoors and nature since childhood. This field enables me to make a positive difference in our environment through the creative solutions and choices we make in projects.
Additionally, I love how civil engineering projects can enhance the quality of our everyday lives and positively impact entire communities, cities and even countries.
Can you tell us about your experience as an intern at Aurecon?
I began my journey with Aurecon as an intern in the Rail Mass & Transit team during the pandemic when COVID-19 restrictions, which unfortunately forced us to work from home. Despite the challenges, I received tremendous support from my team and gained valuable insights into the world of engineering consulting, and how my academic learnings could be applied.
During my time with the Rail team, I gained a comprehensive understanding of what to expect as a rail engineer, and got to work on some exciting transport projects, like the City Rail Link. I also learned a lot about Aurecon's values and work practices, which made me realise it was the perfect fit for me.
So when I got the chance to have my second internship, I decided to explore another team within the civil discipline, as I was still figuring out what career path to take. The Roads and Highways team welcomed me as an intern and I was excited to dive straight into the work, already having a good understanding of how Aurecon operates.
My familiarity with software and work processes made my onboarding experience in the Roads team quite smooth. I love working with the Roads team and it’s here I discovered my passion for road projects. I can't wait to continue my career with them as a graduate at the end of 2023!
What has been the highlight of your experience as an intern?
One of the best things I experienced was having the opportunity to work across two transport teams during my two summers with the company. This gave me exposure to a wide range of exciting projects, including detailed design packages and business cases. It also gave me a better understanding of what it's like to work in an engineering consultancy.
However, what really made my experience stand out was the people I got to work with and the friendships I have made. Everyone was so supportive, and I looked forward to coming into work every day. It was great to be part of such a positive and friendly team.
Another cool thing about Aurecon is they have multiple offices in different locations across New Zealand and Australia. As I am based in Auckland, I was keen to spend some time working in the Christchurch office, and my team was very supportive of this.
The process was straightforward, and I was welcomed warmly by the team in Christchurch. It was a fantastic opportunity to work in a new place, meet new people, and make new friends. I really appreciate the flexibility that Aurecon offers its employees even as an intern.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for Aurecon’s intern programme?
I know we hear this often at university and even at work but always ask questions! I don’t mean questions just for tasks which you might need more clarification on, but for any opportunities, experiences or projects you may want to try out. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you never know where these opportunities could lead you!
Another piece of advice is to network and get to know as many people as you can. Not just people in your own team but people outside of your teams because you can learn so much from them and having the right connections may just lead you to explore something you hadn’t even considered!