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John Holland

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Jithmi De Silva

My role within the design team is to assist the day-to-day operations of the design team which stem from site inspections, design coordination, quality assurance to system management.

What's your job about?

John Holland is one of the Australia’s leading contracting and service providers within the infrastructure, energy, resources and transport services sectors. John Holland offers a two (2) year Graduate Program within their engineering stream. I commenced as a Graduate Engineer within the Graduate Program at the beginning of 2017.

Currently, I am in my 2nd rotation of the program where I have been given the opportunity to be a part of the John Holland design team for the Northwest Rail Link (NRWL). This project will create and connect new modes of transport from the Northwest regions of NSW to the existing Epping to Chatswood railway line. My role within the design team is to assist the day-to-day operations of the design team which stem from site inspections, design coordination, quality assurance to system management.

What's your background?

My history is quite interesting, I spent my adolescence years in Sydney and then moved overseas for High School. During high school, the idea of becoming an engineer became more realistic as I enjoyed and did well within all my STEM subjects such as maths and science coupled with my father who was already a practicing mechanical engineer. Before starting university, I was naïve of what engineering was and how important engineers were to the growth of the infrastructure around us. Now as a graduate part of the John Holland Graduate Program, I have been given the opportunity to see the effects of engineering from different perspectives.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, I believe anyone who has the thirst for solving real-life problems and working within challenging and dynamic environments could do the job if given the opportunity. In saying this, I do believe my engineering degree has equipped me with the relevant technical and soft skills that have allowed me to visualise abstract concepts. John Holland has given me the opportunity to explore different aspects of how an engineering business operates.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is being able to witness firsthand and be a part of the construction of large infrastructure projects that will shape and grow NSW. John Holland has given me the opportunity to work in dynamic environments where my day-to-day tasks vary from being on site, client meetings to coordinating designs between stakeholders. By having such a dynamic schedule has allowed me to see what it takes to transform concepts on pen and paper to the physical construction. Also, being a part of a graduate cohort is cool – it feels like high school again, where we have regular social events and training sessions!

What are the limitations of your job?

Some of the limitations a graduate would face, for example is not understating the full context of the work being done due to lack of experience/knowledge in the industry. But, I would say generally for a graduate, there are no limitation in what you can learn and gain experience on.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Just wait until you graduate – life will be much better
  • It’s okay not knowing what you want to do
  • Enjoy your time at university and enjoy the holidays!