In high school I loved design & technology, science and maths but I hated English! When I went to uni I wanted to find a course that combined my passions and found engineering.
I love building things, but I also love sports so I got into rowing and cycling while I studied – which led me to compete in the Paralympics. I cycled for Australia at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and won a bronze medal in the Individual Pursuit race.
After graduating from UNSW with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, I landed a job as a graduate engineer at Taylor Consulting – an engineering consulting firm on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. But I didn’t give up sport. I kept cycling at competitions around the world, winning silver medals at the 2014 and 2015 Para-cycling Track World Championships. In 2016 I flew to Brazil to ride for Australia in the Rio Paralympic Games.
Interested in athletes? Meet a coding trapeze artist.
From paralympics to project manager
When I came back I wanted to do something different, so I decided to put my engineering skills to use in project management. I found my current role as an assistant project manager for Aver, a property development and construction consultancy.
I’m happy to say I’m living my dream job! I work with some amazing clients that have a great vision for Sydney in terms of the value they can add through the city’s spaces.
Engineering is becoming extremely broad and diverse there are so many paths an “engineer” can take. The most important thing about engineers is the way they approach their tasks. We usually think logically and in a different manner to someone with, say, a business or arts background. But it’s no more important than other fields – we need people of all types!
Thinking of engineering? See what you can do with an engineering degree.
Making the most of uni
If you’re interested in engineering, I’d recommend having a good look into the different streams available. Ask yourself, “What are my passions and where do I want to be in five or ten years time?”
If I could go back, I might have enrolled in civil or structural engineering rather than mechanical. At the time I was too caught up in thinking I would be a Formula 1 engineer, but civil or structural would be more useful for my current role.
Whatever you choose, be confident in yourself! When I look back at my career journey, I don’t see anything as a failure. There is always something positive to get out of a decision made or a step taken.
Love sports? Dive into sports careers.
Alex’s path to becoming a project manager
>> Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney
>> Graduate engineer, Taylor Consulting, Sydney
>> Australian cyclist, 2016 Paralympic Games, Rio
>> Assistant Project Manager, Aver
“Engineering is becoming extremely broad and diverse – there are so many paths an ‘engineer’ can take.”
Author: Elise Roberts
Elise is a science, tech and business enthusiast, motivated to connect people with research that will propel their success. With over ten years’ experience working at the intersection of technology and communications across a wide range of industries, Elise enjoys jumping on the latest trends in digital media to share new knowledge with the Australian community.