Just weeks after packing up his textbooks for good, former Victoria University (VU) international student Sachin Kundu was offered a graduate position as a civil engineer at Boral, a multinational manufacturing and building supplies company.
Born in New Delhi, Sachin came to Melbourne in 2013 to study VU’s Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) on the recommendation of his brother, who completed an accounting degree at VU in 2011.
Upon graduation, Sachin was selected for Boral’s two-year graduate employment program.
He credits much of his career success to the strong foundational knowledge and practical skills he learnt during his degree, as well as the support of his academics.
“At other universities, you have to pick a specialisation in your third and fourth year but at VU you study all core subjects – environmental, traffic, structural, hydraulic and geotechnical engineering – which means you’re not restricted to one area,” the 25-year-old says.
“As a VU graduate, I had more opportunities because I could go for jobs in any area,” he says.
“After graduation I stayed in touch with my course coordinator who sent me job roles and gave me a reference for my resume; that support was incredibly valuable to my career.”
Sachin, who is now a permanent Australian resident, says he was attracted to VU for its course structure and long history of engineering teaching – which dates back more than 100 years to VU’s predecessor institute, the Footscray Technical School.
He says his innate desire to study civil engineering stems from his father’s influence.
“My dad was in the Indian Army for 32 years so I’ve grown up in an environment of wanting to do something for society, whether that’s by building and designing new roads/structures or improving water systems.”
His advice for future international students is simple:
“Always set a goal and try your best to achieve, no matter how long it takes.
“Joining relevant professional associations like Engineers Australia is a good way to network with people and find out the inside story in your field.
“Voluntary work experience for an organisation is also a great way to get your foot in the door and display your skills and enthusiasm.”