What was the highlight of your experience living in Queensland?
Having spent the majority of my childhood, teenage and young adult years in Queensland, I think the highlight of my experience was being able to meet all my friends and growing up together. I have many fond memories of my school years, spending time with my family and friends, and exploring the many wonders in Queensland as well as other parts of Australia.
Career wise, I was fortunate enough to be heavily involved in a number of large-scale projects during my experience, ranging from busway developments, railway planning to coal terminal expansions. I developed the majority of my technical and soft skills during my years working in a consulting firm, and since I am now working in Hong Kong, I also consider this 'overseas' working experience one of the highlights on my CV.
How has your experience in Queensland helped you with your career?
I think growing up and completing the majority of my school / studies in Queensland helped me most in establishing my personal and professional network, as well as gaining a strong understanding of the environmental / engineering industry in Queensland. There were many career paths available, and having studied at a local university really made a difference in terms of graduate work opportunities.
Did you work or undertake projects with employers or industry groups during your studies? If yes, how did this experience benefit your career?
Yes, I worked on projects with industry groups / employers during my final year of studies. It was very rewarding, and a great insight into the real workforce.
Can you share your student journey (why did you decide to study what you studied and why did you decide to study in Queensland)?
I studied the usual physics, chemistry, maths B and maths C during my high school years. My interests were mainly "science" based, though I also had a strong interest in music, so I ended up pursuing a dual degree - bachelor of engineering and bachelor of arts (majoring in music). The study load was too much for me to handle, as I was also involved in many extra-curricular activities in university, so I ended up dropping the arts degree. That said, I still continued my private studies in (piano) music, so it actually worked out for me. Having grown up in Queensland, it was natural for me to continue my tertiary studies at a local university (UQ).
What career-advice would you give future students thinking about studying in Queensland?
My advice is do not be afraid of venturing out of your comfort zone and studying abroad, because the experience of learning to adapt to a new environment, meeting new people and living in a completely foreign city / state will be unforgettable, and will certainly benefit your career in future years to come. I would also suggest gaining some undergraduate work experience if you can - you get an early taste of what the workforce has to offer, and it distinguishes you from other candidates when you apply for jobs after graduation.
What's the easiest way to develop a social-life in Queensland?
Join student clubs, network, go out and mingle! University life should be fun and enjoyable, and not just about study!
What are you doing now in your career?
I am currently one of the Managers in the Sustainability Department of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, primarily involved in the environmental management (biodiversity sector) for the expansion of the Hong Kong International Airport into a three-runway system (i.e. the 3RS Project).
Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?
After completing my tertiary studies, I went into the workforce with an open mind. As a fresh graduate, I sent off numerous job applications to firms. After receiving a few job offers, I decided it would be beneficial to join one of the large consulting firms as they generally offer full graduate programmes. I ended up staying in consulting for over 13 years and have no regrets.
Can you share any ongoing ties to Queensland?
My parents are living in Brisbane, and most of my high school and uni friends are also based there, so I consider Queensland pretty much my home town.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience studying in Queensland?
I managed to maintain other extra-curricular activities throughout the period of my study in Queensland and joined various student clubs. It was an extremely busy four years, but when I look back upon those days, I believe it was worth all the stress and lack of sleep, as I got to meet many good friends from different fields, most of whom I still keep in touch with, and they have helped to shape who I am today. It was also a great way to get a head start on time management, which is extremely important to my career and current role at work.