Learn about Allison's internship and the career development opportunities she experienced at ADG Engineers.

Allison Ma

Name: Allison Ma

Location: Northern Territory

University & Course: Charles Darwin University, Master of Engineering (Civil and Structural)

Graduation: 2021

Where did you undertake your internship? ADG Engineers

What influenced you to apply for the position?

I was keen to enhance practical skills used in the industry to a professional level. I was also curious to have a peek of the engineering industry.

What types of things were you involved with during your internship?
  • Civil design
  • Drafting site visits
  • Asset registration
What opportunities has your internship given you?

After the first six weeks of internship (work experience), I was hired as an undergraduate civil engineer.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your internship?

I was not as fluent in terms of my IT skills and through daily work, it is essential to be able to draft in AutoCAD. To me learning a new software has always been a challenge and this was no exception. However, I know I am quite good at asking questions throughout my learning process, and therefore, with the help of our experienced draftsperson, I was able to have a grasp of drafting during my internship.

What was the main thing that you learnt during your internship that you’ve since been able to apply to your professional life/studies?

Communication is definitely one of the most important things I learnt during my work experience. Many engineers tend to keep all the work to themselves and not communicate between team members, which can be very inefficient when catching up. This was one of the key things my supervisors had informed me and to this day I am still constantly reminding myself to pass important information across the team.

What are the ways Engineers Australia helped you throughout the internship process?

Engineers Australia has helped me a lot when I was just getting started with my career. The events include interview initiation, coffee club mentoring, and even feedback structural support have provided a great opportunity for networking and employment opportunities. From my personal experience, when getting starting with your career, it would be more helpful to attend Engineers Australia events in person instead of webinars to get to know the industry, meet professionals, and introduce yourself. After your employment, it would be a good time to settle and focus on learning as many professional skills as possible. You can do so by taking training courses and attending webinars to enhance your knowledge base.

What advantages has completing the internship given you?

I was able to have the opportunity to learn and combine theoretical knowledge into design practice. I also learned that engineering is not just about mathematics and design, there are lots of different aspects to the industry and it was really interesting to me as a new starter.