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Dorcas designs her engineering career

Stage three civil engineering student, Dorcas Ogunshola, has been successfully appointed as an Engineers Australia Student Ambassador, making her the voice of the organisation at TAFE Queensland.

By TAFE Queensland

Dorcas is thrilled to be awarded the ambassador role, and can’t wait to attend engineering events, careers days and conferences to share a student’s perspective with the industry body.

“I’m looking forward to putting new ideas forward to Engineers Australia and inspiring more students to study engineering and join the industry body to get the most out of their careers,” says Dorcas.

As TAFE Queensland’s Engineers Australia Student Ambassador, Dorcas will also advocate for the industry body on campus while being their voice on campus.

Hailing from Nigeria, Dorcas and her family arrived in Australia just three years ago, with a desire to study and become an architect.

But, after just missing out on enrolling in a double major in Architecture and Civil Engineering at university, she sought out another pathway to kick start the career of her dreams.

After discussing her career aspirations with a friend, her search brought her to TAFE Queensland where she was introduced to the Associate Degree in Civil Engineering (HED001).

“A friend of mine studies at TAFE Queensland Bracken Ridge so I visited the campus with her to ask about their construction and design-related courses, I was introduced to the associated degree, which I had no idea about,” explains Dorcas.

“Then when I visited the South Bank campus where the qualification is taught, I was taken through the course outline and it was a perfect fit for me, plus reduces my architecture and civil engineering bachelor studies by 18 months,” she says.

After discussing the new direction with her father, an electrical engineer himself, he encouraged Dorcas to enrol in the TAFE Queensland course as it would give her the exact skills and qualification she needs to set up her career.

“TAFE Queensland is amazing - the teachers go above and beyond to help students understand what we’re learning. They’re always accessible to help us solve problems, to make correct decisions and they help us pass our assessments and assignments.”

During her studies, Dorcas was introduced to computer-aided design modelling, giving her the skills to design critical civil engineering such as roads, sewerage, water supply and stormwater drainage as part of an engineering design team.

Her ability to use CAD software to model essential infrastructure has set her up for a full-time role with civil engineering firm Aurecon in Brisbane while she continues studying.

Working as a drafter, she’s helping to design buildings and contribute to projects for qualified engineers each day using the skills she learnt at TAFE Queensland.

“When I started my studies I realised I had no idea what being an engineer involved. But as I kept learning, things became a lot clearer and I’m using what I learnt on the course each day at work,” explains Dorcas.

“I got my job because I study with TAFE Queensland. Aurecon prefers hiring people with the Associate Degree in Civil Engineering (HED001) because it produces great employees – in fact many people in the office have studied this qualification.”

She credits the computer labs as being key to helping her learn and understand the software that is essential to learning CAD and getting her into the industry at the age of 18.

“The software I use at TAFE Queensland is the same as I use in the office, and because it’s Engineers Australia standard I was able to quickly start work, pick up projects and contribute to their success.”

Dorcas is thrilled that she found the Associated Degree in Civil Engineering (HED001) as it’s giving her a solid foundation to kick start her career.

“I love designing buildings and eventually I’ll double major in civil engineering and architecture, and this qualification is the best pathway to get me there.”

“I’m getting hands-on, practical training that is used in the workplace that will benefit my future. And because of the training and support I’m getting, I feel that if I was studying anywhere else I would have dropped the idea of being an architect.”