People tend to pause and reflect on their careers at major milestones, looking back on their achievements after 10, 25, 40 years in an industry.
This year I was humbled to be named one of Engineers Australia ‘Top 30 Innovative Engineers for 2018’ at age 30 and as a result I find myself stopping to reflect on my career to date after a mere 7 years in the industry.
I started work with Arup as a graduate engineer in 2012 and being a goal driven person, I initially struggled with the transition from university to work. I no longer had assignments, tutorials and exams to delineate my progress throughout the year. I suddenly found myself in charge of my own development for the most part and had no clue where to start.
The Arup graduate program and working toward Chartered Status with Engineers Australia offered some structure and guidance in the first few years. On reflection however, I would attribute my early success to the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects and working with some fantastic people, who have been wonderful mentors and supporters in the development of my career. I have also had a few influential role models at work, who provided me with a good idea of the sorts of things I wanted to achieve in my own career.
Being able to work on inspirational projects, provided me with the real drive for success. I found myself setting interim career goals, making plans to achieve them and working as hard as I could to make them happen. I said yes to all the opportunities I was given and showing initiative to learn and develop where ever possible. Most importantly, I learnt that being myself was ok and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone was where I really learnt and grew, personally and professionally.
This culminated in the opportunity to work on the design of a new type of bridge girder. Working on this project offered a “once in life time” experience, which was immensely challenging and rewarding. It is my work on this project that led to my inclusion on Engineers Australia’s list of ‘Top 30 Innovative Engineers for 2018’.
Reading through the list of fellow recipients (which included two Arup colleagues) made me immensely grateful the opportunities I have been given so far in my career, to reach this level of recognition so early.