“I’m studying Civil Engineering, specialising in Civil Structural Design, at UTS. We’re required to do up to a year of practical work experience in a construction company or structural design company. I’m coming to the end of my first six-month internship at Coates and will hopefully do my next block at Coates too.
As an intern, I feel lucky that I’ve been able to experience so many different areas of engineering in a short time – I’ve definitely hit the jackpot there. I’ve really enjoyed being on-site with the installations team, who work like a well-oiled machine. But I love working with the design team, creating initial sketches of how the equipment can come together and working with the Temporary Works Engineers to finalise the technical design.
I’m applying some first-year engineering principles from my course, but everything else I’ve been working on at Coates has been entirely new. You can have all this textbook knowledge of how to calculate design but going on-site and seeing how the equipment works, and the stages of installing and de-installing it, changes your perspective. Coates also has a lot of high-functioning design programs, so work that would normally take two hours by hand is much faster.
What I find most fascinating in such a large company is the communication between different departments. This really allows smooth delivery of projects because nothing’s missed or lost in translation. Initiating communication was a weakness for me, but it’s turned into a strength. I find I’m reaching out to people a lot more openly now. If I’m unsure of something, I just phone someone straight away and I know they’ll be very helpful and friendly.”
Jessica Burke, Engineering Intern