Angela Begg spent her uni years learning how to engineer renewable energy, until a LinkedIn DM landed her a job for real
In high school maths and physics were Angela’s thing, which made choosing to study photovoltaic (PV) engineering a unique, but obvious fit – particularly considering how eco-conscious she already was.
“I was really interested in renewable energy,” stresses Angela. “I thought [the PV degree] was the perfect opportunity to continue my studies in maths and physics and use those skills to develop solutions to combat climate change.”
Equally as easy to settle on was a uni, with UNSW one of the only places in the world offering renewable energy or PV engineering to undergraduate students. “It was a no-brainer!” she adds. “I was very keen to jump into the deep-end straight away too!”
Full of energy
Angela speaks fondly of her time at UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE), particularly all the extra-curricular stuff she took on.
As an undergrad she was an active member of UNSW’s Renewable Energy Society (RESOC) – where she made friends, networked with industry professionals and developed leadership skills – eventually becoming President in her final year.
Then there were all the off-campus travel opportunities – playing handball at the Unigames, representing UNSW at a United Nations conference in Bangkok and heading to India with Pollinate Energy as a volunteer to distribute solar-powered products to disadvantaged areas.
With an impressive CV already packed with loads of voluntary experience, two years into her degree Angela was stoked to receive a job opportunity via a LinkedIn DM.
“A Lendlease recruiter messaged me asking if I’d be interested in talking to the recruitment team about an opportunity that had come up in their environmental design team,” she explains. “After a few phone conversations and an interview I was offered the job and haven’t looked back!”
Fast-forward four years and Angela is killing it in her gig as consultant in Lendlease’s Sustainable Futures team! She spends nine to five making sure that the buildings the company develops are as environmentally and ethically responsible as possible.
She helps commercial and retail tenants understand their energy and water consumption habits and has done loads of work with getting builds certified under the Green Star building sustainability rating scheme.
And the coolest thing about having a PV engineering degree under her belt? The fact that she uses the knowledge she picked up at uni in her role for real everyday.
“I developed my problem-solving skills, learnt time management and also how to communicate with a range of individuals,” she stresses. “I built up a really great foundation of maths/physics skills too that I use every day on the job!”
Angela’s study and career path
- Bachelor of Photovoltaics and Solar Energy Engineering, UNSW Sydney
- Environmental Design Undergraduate, Lendlease
- Environmental Design Consultant, Lendlease
- Consultant, Sustainable Futures, Lendlease
Author: Cassie Steel
Cassie is an editor and writer and past digital editor of Careers with STEM, spending her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists.