MEET OUR GRADS

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WSP Wellington
Becca Wallace
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Becca Wallace, Architectural Graduate (Kaihoahoa Paetahi), joined WSP in January 2019 as part of the Architecture team in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington. 

She heard about WSP from a friend who was working for the organisation and shared about the great team environment. WSP appealed to Becca because she wanted to work for a multidisciplinary company with a culture that would enable her to build relationships within the architecture team as well as the surrounding disciplines. 

“Reflecting on my decision from my two years working here I can definitely say the people make the placeEveryone looks out for your best interests and really wants you to succeed. WSP places people first with significant support for Graduates. 

Becca said that she enjoys working on a range of projects and loves that her opinions and ideas are valued. 

Before I started working, I believed that because I was only a Graduate with little experience, that I would not get the opportunity to contribute and make design decisions. However, I was very wrong! I feel so incredibly supported here at WSP and am encouraged to contribute as much as I can. On some projects I have even been able to take the lead and make a lot of the design decisions. 

image (copy)

08:00  AM

I arrive at the office and prepare for my day. This morning I will be working on the developed design of Johnsonville School. 

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Becca graduated with a Master of Architecture (Professional) from Victoria University of Wellington in 2019. She gives this advice to students:

“No question is a stupid question. In my first few months I would sit in meetings with various engineers and be too scared to ask anything in case it was a stupid question! I would leave meetings feeling incredibly out of my depth. As a Graduate it is so important to ask questions, and generally people are happy to explain things. Everyone understands that we still have so much to learn, and they want to help us, because the more we understand things, the more we can help them, and the easier their job is too!”

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WSP Palmerston North
BLAKE LEE
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Blake Lee, Graduate Planner (Kaiwhakamāhere Paetahi), joined WSP in January 2020 in Te Papa-i-oea | Palmerston North. 

WSP was Blake’s employer of choice because he wanted to work for a company that promotes a positive work culture, provides development opportunities, and values and invests in its people. 

“I get the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects and work with people from different sectors within WSP. No two days are the same. WSP also supports and provides a platform for us to grow individually and professionally as a Graduate, which is something that I really appreciate.” 

Blake said the transition from being a student to working full-time was a challenge, but WSP and his managers offer support and flexibility that helped him learn to balance work and his personal life.  

“What I love most about my job are the people in the office and the flexibility my manager and WSP offers. I get to work in different WSP offices and sometimes help with projects that other offices are working on. This gives my work a variety and keeps things interesting. I also get to network with my peers and seniors in the other offices.”

image (copy1)

08:00  AM

Today is our move in day to the new office in Palmerston North. We get a nice view out to the city and the ranges. We also get a peek of the new wind turbines that are coming up. Everyone is busy unpacking and settling in before we crack into work.

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Blake completed his Master of Planning degree from University of Otago in 2019. He gives this advice to students: “Take it easy and have fun.”

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WSP Wellington
HAMISH HAYES

Hamish Hayes, Graduate Engineer Structures (Kaipūkaha Paetahi Hanganga), first joined WSP in 2015 as a Summer Intern in Blenheim | Waiharakeke. Following completion of his university degree, he joined in his current role as a Graduate in January 2018 in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington.

He said he decided to join WSP in a full-time Graduate position, because he wanted to work for a company with large-scale projects and a great team culture.

“I enjoy the challenges and opportunities that the job offers. There is constant variety in the projects that I am a part of and good support from people around me to give things a go. What helps make work enjoyable is the people and culture around me. The team I am in is a social group, where there is always a morning tea, quiz, or competition going on.”

Beyond his day-to-day work, Hamish has been involved in several groups and clubs at WSP. He was previously part of the Graduate Committee, a group that enhances the Graduate experience, and is currently on his local office’s committee for Pathways, WSP’s emerging professional’s group.

“These opportunities have helped me get an insight into the other parts and aspects of the business, which helps build on other professional skills aside from my normal engineering role."

image (copy)

08:30  AM

A typical day for me starts with walking into the office around 8.30 am. An advantage of living in the Wellington city centre is that the walk is only 5-10 minutes. Most of my team turns up sometime between 8.00 am and 9.00 am. Mondays tend to start with a quick resourcing check-in meeting with the structures team followed by heading out for a coffee to ease into the week and catch up with what people got up to in the weekend.  

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Hamish graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering – from University of Canterbury in 2017. He gives this advice to students: 

I would say the best thing is to be open to any opportunities that may present themselves, even if it takes you outside your comfort zone, as you’ll never know what it may lead to. Also, never be afraid to ask questions; you can learn a lot from the others around you with all their knowledge.” 

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WSP Dunedin
JAAFER ALMAHARY

Jaafer Almahary, Graduate Engineer – Structural/Civil (Kaipūkaha Paetahi – Metarahi), joined WSP in January 2019 as part of the bridges team in Ōtepoti | Dunedin. 

He said he wanted to start his career at WSP because the multi-disciplinary consultancy provides many internal opportunities for career progression and development of personal and technical skills. 

“WSP’s regional business is strong with many regional offices providing a vast geographical coverage. A strong team in Dunedin was a crucial aspect in my decision to join WSP, and on reflection, that was the right decision to make.” 

Jaafer said he enjoys being part of a small team that delivers a large array of projects. His work provides opportunity to learn and develop skills to overcome dynamic challenges, meet client requirements, and make continuous improvements in technology and processes. 

Outside of his regular role, Jaafer is in leadership roles with three professional associations. He is the Dunedin Lead for Structural Engineering Society – Emerging Structural Engineers, Office Lead for Pathways, and a committee member for Transportation Group in Dunedin. 

“I help facilitate events and connect our members to create a local social network for learning and sharing of knowledge.” 

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08:00  AM

The office is located in the centre of Dunedin and is only 10-minute drive from home. There is an abundance of free parking, and the short walk from where I park is a relaxing and uplifting way to start the day. 

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Jaafer graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland in 2018. He gives this advice to students: 

“Get involved with professional groups and reach out to individuals in your field of interest. This will enhance your understanding of the workplace and help you navigate your career path in our diverse industry.” 

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WSP Christchurch
JOSH BLACKMORE

Josh Blackmore, Graduate Engineer Electrical, joined WSP in January 2019 as part of the Building Services team in Ōtautahi | Christchurch.

He chose to start his career at WSP because he wanted a company that provides development and values and invests in its people.

“The level of technical and commercial expertise within this company is incredible,” he said. ”I am fortunate to be surrounded by technical thought leaders with a wealth of experience and a willingness to share.”

Josh said he enjoys the collaborative nature of the business. In his role, he works with architects, project manager and engineers from several disciplines to create solutions for our clients.

“Together we deliver innovative and sustainable building solutions for sites across the country,” he said. “It’s hugely empowering to see the designs we put on paper turn into high-functioning buildings that will serve communities for many years to come.”

Beyond his role, Josh is part of the Ōtautahi People and Culture Focus Group.

He said the group celebrates the diverse range of people that make up WSP, grows our collective understanding and empathy for different backgrounds and makes the office an all-round brilliant place to work.

 

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image (copy)

07:30  AM

My morning starts on two wheelsThe city is quickly becoming a great place to cycle around, and I find that a quick blast on the legs and the lungs sets me up well for the day. Plus, it’s good for the environment! Our Christchurch office sits across the road from Hagley Park, and cycling through the gardens is a rather picturesque way to start my day.

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He also works with the Christchurch Social Committee and chairs the Christchurch Building Services Social Committee. He said the committees provide a range of inclusive social events, fostering a friendly and supportive company culture. 

Josh graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Electrical and Electronic Engineering – from University of Canterbury in 2018. He gives this advice to students: 

“Don’t expect to stop learning! Whilst your formal education might be over for the time being, every day on the job will present new challenges that you will have to overcome. You will have some fantastic resources and people around you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help either.”

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WSP Wellington
SARAH EARWAKER

Sarah Earwaker, Architectural Graduate (Kaihoahoa Paetahi), first joined WSP in 2016 as a Summer Intern in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington. Following completion of her university degree, she joined in her current role as a Graduate in February 2020 in Ōtautahi | Christchurch.

She said starting her career at WSP was a good decision, because she has had opportunities for growth through mentoring from more experienced colleagues and a diverse range of projects.

“I chose WSP to start my career because I have a passion for architecture and the built environment, and so does WSP. It is a company with such a drive for success, providing opportunities to work on some incredible projects throughout New Zealand.”

Sarah said she loves the environment she works in and the supportive network of people who continually help her with her development and progress toward becoming a Registered Architect.

“There are times I will come across an element of the design process that I have not yet encountered before. This can make it difficult to understand the correct and most efficient way to complete the work. During these times, I can work through the challenge and discuss the correct approach with members of the team, who are always more than happy to share their expertise with the Graduates in the office.” 

 

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07:00  AM

I begin my workday with a commute on my bike. My house is only 2.5 km from the office, making it faster to bike than drive due to the rush hour traffic! WSP provides a secure bike storage area and shower facilities, making it a great way to get to/from work. 

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Shona completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering degree from the University of Auckland in 2019. She gives this advice to students: 

The more active you are at University, the better and richer the experience will be and the more you can offer a potential employer. You will be better equipped for dealing with the office world. Your hobbies at University will help you make friends at work and gel into the space. So, don’t forget about those. 

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WSP Napier
SHONA KALANI

Shona Kalani, Graduate Engineer Bridges (Kaipūkaha Paetahi Arawhata), joined WSP in 2019 in Ahuriri | Napier. 

She said it was a tough decision to move from Auckland to Napier, but she was drawn to the regional office for the opportunities available. She wanted to gain a wider exposure on various components of bridge engineering and work with the strong bridges team in Napier.  

It’s been a big learning curve in terms of new people, new work, and adjusting to life in a new place with no friends. The new exposure has many positives; I have developed strength and maturity, and I get to learn from smart, capable people. Looking back on it, I am happy I made the decision. 

Shona said her work is varied. She is exposed to the entire life cycle of bridge asset management, from inspections to structural bridge design to quality assurance on site. She is also involved in project management and client relations.  

She is also part of the Community Connection Advisors Group at WSP. The purpose of the group is to inform and guide people in opportunities to give back to the community for initiatives such as Community Day. 

WSP gives all permanent employees one day of paid leave to support their local communities – be it environment, STEM education, sharing technical expertise, or working with community groups. How cool is that! 

 

image (copy1)

07:00  AM

My day begins with a guided meditation for focus and calm. I then drive in to work, which usually takes 10 minutes (in traffic!)
I come in to work and grab my second coffee on the way to my desk.  

down (copy1) down (copy2)

Shona completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering degree from the University of Auckland in 2019. She gives this advice to students: 

The more active you are at University, the better and richer the experience will be and the more you can offer a potential employer. You will be better equipped for dealing with the office world. Your hobbies at University will help you make friends at work and gel into the space. So, don’t forget about those. 

 

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WSP Christchurch
SERG CHIRILA

Sergiu Chirila, also known as Serg, joined WSP as a Graduate Surveyor in the Christchurch office in August 2018.

He joined WSP because the organisation works on a wide variety of projects. He said the diversity of his work is his favourite part of his job.

“No two days are the same,” he said. “I love this because it makes my week exciting and interesting.” 

Serg said the biggest challenge he’s had is learning to be patient and deal with potential delays.

“You must be flexible because sometimes you require someone else’s input to complete the job,” he said. “In times such as this, you must occupy yourself with other jobs until you get the go ahead or until you receive the information required.”

He said that he enjoys the work he does and the people he works with.

“I am happy to say that in the short time that I have worked for WSP, I have been fortunate to be a part of many cool projects and have worked with great people,” Serg said

 

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07:00  AM

I have strong aspirations to become a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor. Whether its studying for the Cadastral Law Exam or working on my Professional Projects, that hour of study before work really motivates me to work hard and accomplish my goals. 

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Serg graduated with a Bachelor of Surveying from University of Otago in 2018. He gives this advice to students: 

“Always show initiative. An employer will appreciate a person who knows what they want and where they want to go.  Develop good organisational skills. Knowing how to plan your time means the risk of you falling behind is minimised.  Be decisive.  Have fun.” 

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A day in the life
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Becca graduated with a Master of Architecture (Professional) from Victoria University of Wellington in 2019. She gives this advice to students:

“No question is a stupid question. In my first few months I would sit in meetings with various engineers and be too scared to ask anything in case it was a stupid question! I would leave meetings feeling incredibly out of my depth. As a Graduate it is so important to ask questions, and generally people are happy to explain things. Everyone understands that we still have so much to learn, and they want to help us, because the more we understand things, the more we can help them, and the easier their job is too!”

BEca (copy1)
Becca Wallace
WSP Wellington

Becca Wallace, Architectural Graduate (Kaihoahoa Paetahi), joined WSP in January 2019 as part of the Architecture team in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington. 

She heard about WSP from a friend who was working for the organisation and shared about the great team environment. WSP appealed to Becca because she wanted to work for a multidisciplinary company with a culture that would enable her to build relationships within the architecture team as well as the surrounding disciplines. 

“Reflecting on my decision from my two years working here I can defiantly say the people make the placeEveryone looks out for your best interests and really wants you to succeed. WSP places people first with significant support for Graduates. 

Becca said that she enjoys working on a range of projects and loves that her opinions and ideas are valued. 

Before I started working, I believed that because I was only a Graduate with little experience, that I would not get the opportunity to contribute and make design decisions. However, I was very wrong! I feel so incredibly supported here at WSP and am encouraged to contribute as much as I can. On some projects I have even been able to take the lead and make a lot of the design decisions. 

image (copy)

08:00  AM

I arrive at the office and prepare for my day. This morning I will be working on the developed design of Johnsonville School. 

down (copy)
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WSP Palmerston North
BLAKE LEE
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08:00  AM

Today is our move in day to the new office in Palmerston North. We get a nice view out to the city and the ranges. We also get a peek of the new wind turbines that are coming up. Everyone is busy unpacking and settling in before we crack into work.

down (copy1)

Blake completed his Master of Planning degree from University of Otago in 2019. He gives this advice to students: “Take it easy and have fun.”

Blake Lee, Graduate Planner (Kaiwhakamāhere Paetahi), joined WSP in January 2020 in Te Papa-i-oea | Palmerston North. 

WSP was Blake’s employer of choice because he wanted to work for a company that promotes a positive work culture, provides development opportunities, and values and invests in its people. 

“I get the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects and work with people from different sectors within WSP. No two days are the same. WSP also supports and provides a platform for us to grow individually and professionally as a Graduate, which is something that I really appreciate.” 

Blake said the transition from being a student to working full-time was a challenge, but WSP and his managers offer support and flexibility that helped him learn to balance work and his personal life.  

“What I love most about my job are the people in the office and the flexibility my manager and WSP offers. I get to work in different WSP offices and sometimes help with projects that other offices are working on. This gives my work a variety and keeps things interesting. I also get to network with my peers and seniors in the other offices.”

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WSP Wellington
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HAMISH HAYES
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08:30  AM

A typical day for me starts with walking into the office around 8.30 am. An advantage of living in the Wellington city centre is that the walk is only 5-10 minutes. Most of my team turns up sometime between 8.00 am and 9.00 am. Mondays tend to start with a quick resourcing check-in meeting with the structures team followed by heading out for a coffee to ease into the week and catch up with what people got up to in the weekend.  

down (copy)

Hamish Hayes, Graduate Engineer Structures (Kaipūkaha Paetahi Hanganga), first joined WSP in 2015 as a Summer Intern in Blenheim | Waiharakeke. Following completion of his university degree, he joined in his current role as a Graduate in January 2018 in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington.

He said he decided to join WSP in a full-time Graduate position, because he wanted to work for a company with large-scale projects and a great team culture.

“I enjoy the challenges and opportunities that the job offers. There is constant variety in the projects that I am a part of and good support from people around me to give things a go. What helps make work enjoyable is the people and culture around me. The team I am in is a social group, where there is always a morning tea, quiz, or competition going on.”

Beyond his day-to-day work, Hamish has been involved in several groups and clubs at WSP. He was previously part of the Graduate Committee, a group that enhances the Graduate experience, and is currently on his local office’s committee for Pathways, WSP’s emerging professional’s group.

“These opportunities have helped me get an insight into the other parts and aspects of the business, which helps build on other professional skills aside from my normal engineering role."

Hamish graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering – from University of Canterbury in 2017. He gives this advice to students: 

I would say the best thing is to be open to any opportunities that may present themselves, even if it takes you outside your comfort zone, as you’ll never know what it may lead to. Also, never be afraid to ask questions; you can learn a lot from the others around you with all their knowledge.” 

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WSP Dunedin
JAAFER ALMAHARY
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08:00  AM

The office is located in the centre of Dunedin and is only 10-minute drive from home. There is an abundance of free parking, and the short walk from where I park is a relaxing and uplifting way to start the day. 

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Jaafer Almahary, Graduate Engineer – Structural/Civil (Kaipūkaha Paetahi – Metarahi), joined WSP in January 2019 as part of the bridges team in Ōtepoti | Dunedin. 

He said he wanted to start his career at WSP because the multi-disciplinary consultancy provides many internal opportunities for career progression and development of personal and technical skills. 

“WSP’s regional business is strong with many regional offices providing a vast geographical coverage. A strong team in Dunedin was a crucial aspect in my decision to join WSP, and on reflection, that was the right decision to make.” 

Jaafer said he enjoys being part of a small team that delivers a large array of projects. His work provides opportunity to learn and develop skills to overcome dynamic challenges, meet client requirements, and make continuous improvements in technology and processes. 

Outside of his regular role, Jaafer is in leadership roles with three professional associations. He is the Dunedin Lead for Structural Engineering Society – Emerging Structural Engineers, Office Lead for Pathways, and a committee member for Transportation Group in Dunedin. 

“I help facilitate events and connect our members to create a local social network for learning and sharing of knowledge.” 

Jaafer graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland in 2018. He gives this advice to students: 

“Get involved with professional groups and reach out to individuals in your field of interest. This will enhance your understanding of the workplace and help you navigate your career path in our diverse industry.” 

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JOSH BLACKMORE
WSP Christchurch
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07:30  AM

My morning starts on two wheelsThe city is quickly becoming a great place to cycle around, and I find that a quick blast on the legs and the lungs sets me up well for the day. Plus, it’s good for the environment! Our Christchurch office sits across the road from Hagley Park, and cycling through the gardens is a rather picturesque way to start my day.

down (copy)

Josh Blackmore, Graduate Engineer Electrical, joined WSP in January 2019 as part of the Building Services team in Ōtautahi | Christchurch.

He chose to start his career at WSP because he wanted a company that provides development and values and invests in its people.

“The level of technical and commercial expertise within this company is incredible,” he said. ”I am fortunate to be surrounded by technical thought leaders with a wealth of experience and a willingness to share.”

Josh said he enjoys the collaborative nature of the business. In his role, he works with architects, project manager and engineers from several disciplines to create solutions for our clients.

“Together we deliver innovative and sustainable building solutions for sites across the country,” he said. “It’s hugely empowering to see the designs we put on paper turn into high-functioning buildings that will serve communities for many years to come.”

Beyond his role, Josh is part of the Ōtautahi People and Culture Focus Group.

He said the group celebrates the diverse range of people that make up WSP, grows our collective understanding and empathy for different backgrounds and makes the office an all-round brilliant place to work.

 

He also works with the Christchurch Social Committee and chairs the Christchurch Building Services Social Committee. He said the committees provide a range of inclusive social events, fostering a friendly and supportive company culture. 

Josh graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Electrical and Electronic Engineering – from University of Canterbury in 2018. He gives this advice to students: 

“Don’t expect to stop learning! Whilst your formal education might be over for the time being, every day on the job will present new challenges that you will have to overcome. You will have some fantastic resources and people around you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help either.”

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WSP Wellington
SARAH EARWAKER
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07:00  AM

I begin my workday with a commute on my bike. My house is only 2.5 km from the office, making it faster to bike than drive due to the rush hour traffic! WSP provides a secure bike storage area and shower facilities, making it a great way to get to/from work.    

down (copy)

Sarah Earwaker, Architectural Graduate (Kaihoahoa Paetahi), first joined WSP in 2016 as a Summer Intern in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington. Following completion of her university degree, she joined in her current role as a Graduate in February 2020 in Ōtautahi | Christchurch. 

She said starting her career at WSP was a good decision, because she has had opportunities for growth through mentoring from more experienced colleagues and a diverse range of projects.     

I chose WSP to start my career because I have a passion for architecture and the built environment, and so does WSP. It is a company with such a drive for success, providing opportunities to work on some incredible projects throughout New Zealand. 

Sarah said she loves the environment she works in and the supportive network of people who continually help her with her development and progress toward becoming a Registered Architect. 

There are times I will come across an element of the design process that I have not yet  encountered before. This can make it difficult to understand the correct and most efficient way to complete the work. During these times, I can work through the challenge and discuss the correct approach with members of the team, who are always more than happy  to share their expertise with the Graduates in the office. 

Shona completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering degree from the University of Auckland in 2019. She gives this advice to students: 

The more active you are at University, the better and richer the experience will be and the more you can offer a potential employer. You will be better equipped for dealing with the office world. Your hobbies at University will help you make friends at work and gel into the space. So, don’t forget about those. 

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SHONA KALANI
WSP Napier
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07:00  AM

My day begins with a guided meditation for focus and calm. I then drive to work, which usually takes 10-minutes (in traffic!).

I come to work and grab a second coffee on the way to my desk

down (copy1)

Shona Kalani, Graduate Engineer Bridges (Kaipūkaha Paetahi Arawhata), joined WSP in 2019 in Ahuriri | Napier. 

She said it was a tough decision to move from Auckland to Napier, but she was drawn to the regional office for the opportunities available. She wanted to gain a wider exposure on various components of bridge engineering and work with the strong bridges team in Napier.  

It’s been a big learning curve in terms of new people, new work, and adjusting to life in a new place with no friends. The new exposure has many positives; I have developed strength and maturity, and I get to learn from smart, capable people. Looking back on it, I am happy I made the decision. 

Shona said her work is varied. She is exposed to the entire life cycle of bridge asset management, from inspections to structural bridge design to quality assurance on site. She is also involved in project management and client relations.  

She is also part of the Community Connection Advisors Group at WSP. The purpose of the group is to inform and guide people in opportunities to give back to the community for initiatives such as Community Day. 

WSP gives all permanent employees one day of paid leave to support their local communities – be it environment, STEM education, sharing technical expertise, or working with community groups. How cool is that! 

 

Shona completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Civil Engineering degree from the University of Auckland in 2019. She gives this advice to students: 

The more active you are at University, the better and richer the experience will be and the more you can offer a potential employer. You will be better equipped for dealing with the office world. Your hobbies at University will help you make friends at work and gel into the space. So, don’t forget about those. 

 

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WSP Christchurch
SERG CHIRILA
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07:00  AM

I have strong aspirations to become a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor. Whether its studying for the Cadastral Law Exam or working on my Professional Projects, that hour of study before work really motivates me to work hard and accomplish my goals. 

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Sergiu Chirila, also known as Serg, joined WSP as a Graduate Surveyor in the Christchurch office in August 2018.

He joined WSP because the organisation works on a wide variety of projects. He said the diversity of his work is his favourite part of his job.

“No two days are the same,” he said. “I love this because it makes my week exciting and interesting.” 

Serg said the biggest challenge he’s had is learning to be patient and deal with potential delays.

“You must be flexible because sometimes you require someone else’s input to complete the job,” he said. “In times such as this, you must occupy yourself with other jobs until you get the go ahead or until you receive the information required.”

He said that he enjoys the work he does and the people he works with.

“I am happy to say that in the short time that I have worked for WSP, I have been fortunate to be a part of many cool projects and have worked with great people,” Serg said

 

Serg graduated with a Bachelor of Surveying from University of Otago in 2018. He gives this advice to students: 

“Always show initiative. An employer will appreciate a person who knows what they want and where they want to go.  Develop good organisational skills. Knowing how to plan your time means the risk of you falling behind is minimised.  Be decisive.  Have fun.” 

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AS A WSP GRADUATE  SURVEYOR
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