Updating Results

WSP Australia

  • #5 in Engineering consulting
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Michael Cross

Do something you enjoy. Your enthusiasm will reflect on the work you produce and make you more desirable. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Diamond Beach, two hours north of Newcastle. Since as early as I could - the age of fourteen, I had a job. I’ve always worked for what I have. In school, I always had a passion for Science and furthered that passion in high school. I moved to Newcastle to study at the University of Newcastle. I had numerous jobs while studying to get me through uni. At one point I was studying during the day and working the night shift in a factory. After I graduated, I got a job working on the Newcastle Airport terminal and runway upgrade as an environmental and safety officer. I decided I wanted to further my geological career and chased a job as a Geotechnician working for a geotechnical testing laboratory. My role there was lab and field-based where I gained many skills and knowledge which I still use every day in my current job. 

How did you get to your current job position?

In 2018 I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, very abruptly, and decided I needed a change. My role as a Geotechnician wasn’t stimulating enough for me and there was no further opportunity to grow in that company anytime soon. I had contacted my now current boss Jamie Anderson about a year earlier chasing a job which at the time was with Parsons Brinkerhoff which was undergoing a lot of changes becoming WSP. At this point in my life, I knew this time was different. Toward the end of 2018, I was chasing up Jamie every week until I finally got an interview. A couple of months later, I had acquired my job at WSP as a Graduate Engineering Geologist which I started in January 2019.

How did you choose your specialisation?
I originally thought I was applying for a Geotechnical Engineering position, but my current boss Jamie thought I would be more suited to the role of an Engineering Geologist based on my earth science background.

What was your interview process like?

The interview process was good, a few questions had me a bit stumped and pushed me to think about my answers. Questions were based strongly around safety, my experiences, skills, and professional growth. 

What does your employer do? 

Engineering Consultancy 

What are your areas of responsibility?

Geotech investigation and field testing, design, site supervision, 3D geological modelling, soil and core logging, liaising with clients and subcontractors, reporting, proposal writing, and project set up.

Can you describe a typical workday?

I do a lot of fieldwork. Typically, 75% of the time I am out in the field undertaking geotechnical investigations. I have done geotechnical fieldwork on numerous projects. Mine and dam expansion projects, Burrawang to Avon Tunnel (BAT), mine subsidence investigations, and Sydney Trains drainage investigations.

What are the career prospects with your job?

I am looking to move into project management; however, I am still enjoying doing fieldwork and hope to balance both aspects.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now? 

I honestly don’t know where I would be. I like to live life in the moment and don’t like to think about what could have been. Always keep moving forward.

What do you love the most about your job?

I love being out in the field. You get to work with different people all the time from all walks of life. You get to see locations that few people see or are inaccessible to the public. Especially working in the southern highlands on the BAT project, I got to see a beautiful part of Australia, that I likely wouldn’t have gone to. I feel like I am constantly learning and testing myself when I’m out in the field. I also enjoy being in the office it’s a good change sometimes. It is also in a beautiful location right near Newcastle beach. 

What’s the biggest limitation of your job?

As much as I do love fieldwork. I spend a lot of time away from home which impacts my ability to do sport and train throughout the week. Stress can sometimes be reflected when budgets and timeframes are restraining.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?

  • I feel like the biggest advice is if you want something goes out and gets it. Don’t wait for it to come to you.
  • Always be committed to push yourself and learn new things. Keep expanding the way you think.
  • Do something you enjoy. Your enthusiasm will reflect on the work you produce and make you more desirable.