Ebony Riley, Structural Engineer
|Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
|Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours)/Bachelor of Design (Architecture)
|Year of graduation:
There’s no challenge you can’t overcome if you have a great support system. This is what Ebony Riley realised during her internship – thanks to the huge help she got from her colleagues in the Structural Buildings team.
What was your internship at Aurecon like?
I recently completed my internship with the Structural Buildings team in Brisbane where I was fortunate enough to work on real projects and help complete design tasks, digital modelling and pull together bids for new work. I was able to work on a wide range of tasks and got to learn lots of skills I didn’t learn at university.
My role within the team was very flexible. I worked with a diverse range of people and by the end of my internship, I had a very well-rounded view of what it’s like to be a structural engineer.
What were the highlights of your internship?
I think the best part of my internship was the people I worked with. I have formed some really great friendships over the summer holidays. My team was fantastic at exposing me to all sorts of projects and tasks and were incredibly supportive the whole way through. I can’t thank them enough!
Were there any challenges that you had to face? If yes, what were they and how did you overcome them?
Since I was still an intern, I was often challenged by the tasks I was given. This was a good thing as I was able to learn on the job and develop skills that I hadn’t had the chance to develop in university. I overcame most of these challenges by asking questions and talking to my teammates. They handled all of my ‘silly’ questions with care (even though they say there’s no such thing as a silly question!).
What’s the lesson you learned from your internship that you didn’t learn in university?
Having a great supportive team around you is really important. University can be quite competitive, and while you’re there, it’s easy to get caught up with the competition with other students. At Aurecon, I got a really great ‘big picture’ perspective and learnt more about how the real-world works.
What advice can you give to students and future interns?
Ask all of the questions that you have in mind and participate in everything when you’re given the opportunity. You’ll never know what you’ll learn from who or when you’ll get those chances again!