Considering different civil engineering degrees in Australia, Shehroz Akhter wanted a well-rounded course that would open up his career options. He enrolled in a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, moved to Australia and immediately felt at home at VU. Now working at the City of Darebin as a Civil Project Manager and Development Engineer, Shehroz shares his career journey so far.
“After completing an Advanced Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in Pakistan, I was working in a private firm and I was not satisfied with my work and career growth. It’s obvious nothing teaches you better how the world works than overseas experiences in new and different cultures, so I decided to move to Australia for further study to achieve my career inspiration and to expand my career opportunities.
Comparing different courses, I found that Victoria University covered the wide range of sub-fields in civil engineering that I had hoped to explore.
I felt VU was my second home. My course coordinator and teaching staff were accessible and available to help, library staff were friendly, and I accessed support from the customer service team and student mentors.
I made good connections with my classmates and one of them helped me to get my first job while I was studying, as an undergraduate engineer, where I did surveillance of construction works and designed civil plans.
During the university semester, I managed work and study easily: timings were flexible, and I attended VU full-time three days per week, and worked two days.
We completed practical learning projects throughout the course. The final-year project was particularly valuable as I was able to research and analyse its practical results.
Currently, I am working as a Civil Project Manager and Development Engineer at the City of Darebin. My role involves managing projects, from designing stage through to construction, and assessing civil plans.
Nothing surprises me in my profession, and that’s credit to VU’s practical-based knowledge and my hands-on experience. Even now, everything I am working on seems familiar because I developed the practical skills at university.
I aim to be the type of person who helps others on their pathway. I want to keep improving my personal and professional skills. My career aspiration is to be an experienced project manager who can successfully manage multimillion-dollar projects.
Advice for international students?
“Make good connections, attend all the engineering related events and meet with people. In terms of study, select one field and start working hard to prepare yourself to impress the interviewer.”