Can you let us know what company you are working for and which area of the business you work in or which rotation you are currently in?
I am currently working for Jacobs Group Australia in the Built Environment Sector. Specifically, I work in the Mechanical Team within Building services, which focuses primarily in Heating Ventilation and Air conditioning.
What was the first 6 months like? What have you really enjoyed?
The first 6 months of the graduate program mainly involved helping me settle into the new working environment, completing of required online training, and familiarizing myself with the company. I was also given opportunities to meet the other graduates who joined with me through social and graduate events. Gradually as the weeks progressed, I was given more responsibilities in bigger projects as part of my job. One of the best parts of the program was getting to know graduates from other sectors, as it gave you a better understanding of the different sectors within the business through your graduate networks.
It also promoted a good company culture.
Was your position as you expected it to be? Was anything surprising?
Personally, as I had experience in building services before, I roughly knew what to expect regarding the type of work that I would be required to do so that did not surprise me too much. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of information and resources available clearly for all the engineers including online versions of codes. supplier data and design guides that were easily accessible for all employees. I was also surprised by the 24/7 IT Support that was provided for all emplovees for any potential technical issues.
What is the longest day you have worked and have you had to work Saturdays at all?
The longest day I have had to work was for a project delivery where information was provided last minute with delivery deadline coming up, where I started work at 7am and finished at 9pm. However, this is a rare situation and I have generally logged off on time on most of my working days. I have not had to work weekends so far
What sort of work do you do, day to day?
My typical workday consists of working closely with my project team, architects, project managers, drafters, and various engineering disciplines. Typically, when working on a project, I work closely with architects to understand the building and space layout and determine how much space is available for the mechanical discipline, and therefore am always on team meetings.
After understanding the project and spatial requirement, I gather the data I require to do calculations and determine the best type of system for the space. This includes looking through existing systems and seeing if it can be integrated into the new design. I work closelv with my seniors for their expert opinion and best practices advice. and consistently refer to the Building Code of Australia, Australian standards and AIRAH Design guides when doing engineering design work. This also includes coordinating with structural and electrical engineers to ensure our designs work well together.
Additionally, we write mechanical design reports to summarise the design concept. The final design layout then goes to the drafters, who use either AutoCAD or Revit and create the final mechanical drawings. I always ensure to take a lunch break, even if short, to ensure I am getting adequate breaks in between.
What projects have you worked on?
I have worked on multiple types of projects for mechanical design including Hospitals, Sub-stations, Universities, Train Stations, Commercial office spaces as well as design Lab Gas
What sort of support do you get from your work? Either from your direct leader or the company in general?
There are many support systems available at Jacobs, starting from your immediate team.
Your immediate team as well as your project team is always willing to support and answer questions for younger graduates, whether is it technical or company related. The company is also supportive of a good and flexible work-life balance. Additionally. the Jacobs safety culture is very much engrained within the company's values and thus employees benefit from good support within the mental health space
What skills do you think you need to succeed in your role? Is this different to what you thought you would need?
I believe one of the main skills required to succeed in this role is understanding the fundamentals of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning very well, as well as being familiar with the building codes and Australian standards. Whilst I often used to prioritise technical capability over any soft skills, I soon found that alongside your technical capabilities you also require good negotiation skills, people skills, organisational skills and decision-making skills in order to be successful in this role.
And finally, what sort of perks are offered by your organisation?
Some of the perks of working at Jacobs include flexible working arrangement (i.e. option to work from home, hybrid working style however this will depend on your team), ability to purchase additional leave on top of annual leave and paid flu vaccination every year.