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2017 Aurecon graduate recruitment campaign banner #unconventional


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 master’s 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 Attributes is ‘inquisitive’. Through asking the right questions of 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 to graduates

My advice to 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 which allow 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.

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