Five years ago, I was a mechanical engineering student in my final year, sitting at university with next to no idea what jobs were out there or what I wanted to be. I think that this is common among students - they have a basic understanding of the available industries, but don’t understand the range of different roles they can play, whether it be a design consultant, construction contractor, maintenance engineer or project manager etc.
For me, the role of a design consultant appealed, as you need a range of skills: technical knowledge, science, applying creative thought to your design and client interaction. This means that no two days are the same. Sometimes I’ll be starting new sketches on a clean page, sometimes getting into the depth of detail with advanced analysis software and sometimes meeting with a client or other engineers, collaborating and coordinating. And best of all, you have a tangible result at the end of the project, with your name on it, which is a rewarding part of the job.
It was a talk that I attended that alerted me to the field I now work in (environmentally sustainable development): “Emissions from buildings account for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions”; and “40% of the total energy usage worldwide is consumed in buildings”. The conservation of the environment really interests me and these were significant numbers. So now I’m part of a young, rapidly evolving and growing industry, with huge potential ahead of it, which is exciting.
I’ve been at Aurecon for four years, most of it in my home town of Perth (Australia). Recently, I decided that I was keen for a change of scenery in my personal life and to also get professional experience abroad. So six months ago I moved to the Aurecon office in Cape Town, South Africa, which has been great both personally and professionally. This is one of the major benefits of working for a large multinational and multidisciplinary company like Aurecon. Not only is there a wide range of opportunities available, but you also have room to move.