When Annabelle Luu isn’t nailing her career ambitions in telecommunications engineering, she’s a car buff, tech fiend and amateur weightlifter
Annabelle Luu says she “honestly had no idea” what she wanted to do after high school. She did know she loved cars and the automotive industry – so she signed up for a degree in mechanical engineering at Macquarie University. But when that degree wasn’t what she’d expected, Annabelle shifted gears and changed her major to telecommunications to match up with another one of her passions: tech.
“Telecommunications connects the world,” says Annabelle. “It’s how we are able to make calls, text, browse the web, video chat and so much more. It opens doors for new technology and innovation such as driverless cars and smartphones.”
In 2017, with Macquarie’s help, Annabelle interned at Optus as part of her degree, and went on to secure an engineering cadetship at the Aussie telecommunications giant – which she is doing while finishing her Honours thesis. “As part of the engineering degree at Macquarie, you are expected to complete a certain amount of hours of industry experience,” she explains.
Work hard, play hard
As a cadet engineer at Optus, Annabelle rotates into different teams, which means she gets to experience a variety of roles and use different skills – no two days are the same.
“A work day could include meetings, engineering tasks, site visits, creating connections with people, or even attending events from vendors such as Cisco and Nokia,” she says.
Annabelle says she is already applying the skills she’s learnt at uni in her cadetship, and she’s also discovered there’s more to succeeding in an engineering role than just engineering skills. “Professionalism and presentation skills have really helped me in my current role,” she says.
She’s still an automotive enthusiast and is a big fan of Japanese cars. “I love going to events such as track days,” Annabelle says. “My current car is a Mitsubishi Evo 8 MR which has been a dream of mine ever since I was young.” Fast cars aren’t Annabelle’s only interest outside of the tech world. She also recently started getting into weightlifting to stay fit.
Her advice? “Follow your own path and do what makes you happy. Reach out to people, create connections, challenge yourself and never be afraid to try something new or pursue something you’re passionate about.”
Annabelle’s career path:
>> Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Telecommunications), MQ
>> Engineering intern, Optus
>> Engineering cadet, Optus
To get there: Bachelor of Engineering, MQ
This article was brought to you in partnership with Macquarie University. It originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2019.
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.