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A day in the life of…
Graduate rail engineer, WSP
Annabella Dao studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Strategy and Economic Management). Annabella is a graduate rail engineer at WSP.
My alarm goes off and I fight the daily battle of whether I should sleep in or get up. Before I can think of the pros and cons of each, my eyes are already shut.
I instinctively jolt awake and scramble out of bed, because I’m a risk taker and I don’t put on a snooze alarm. After breathing a sigh of relief that only ten minutes have passed, I start getting ready for the day.
I pack my lunch and head to the train station.
I am usually early enough to grab a seat on the train, which means that I can pull out my phone and catch up on my social media and the news. Sometimes the train is really quiet so I can grab a few more minutes of sleep.
I arrive at World Square and head up to level 28, which has sprawling views of the bustling city below. Since no one has an assigned desk, I head to my favourite desk and start up my laptop. It’s a stand-up desk and I love it because I get restless throughout the day and can constantly shuffle from one foot to the other. It also means that I get the blood circulating!
I make myself a cup of tea and grab a glass of water. I like to have breakfast at my desk – this week it is peanut butter on rice crackers.
I check my emails and tag all the emails that have an action for me to do later in the day. I respond to any emails that only require an email response as the action.
I tackle the items that have just been added to my to-do list, as well as the items that I didn’t get to complete the day before. This ranges from liaising with each discipline’s designers so as to complete sections of the project design report, to updating the track drainage design in the model that I created.
I am currently working on a road upgrade project, so I design the drainage network on the eastern side of the alignment and add this to the model.
I run the analysis in the model, which results in unusual flows within the proposed drainage network. I walk over to my colleague’s desk as I have several questions. She is happy to explain why I am getting unusual results. Having an open environment with colleagues who are always willing to help has cultivated a supportive work environment.
Lunchtime is my favourite time of the day! I get to catch up with my colleagues from other parts of the business and it’s a great place to meet new starters. I grab my lunch and head downstairs to the cafe, which is our communal break-out area and always busy. I can see that a fierce match is already underway at the ping pong table!
I have a Safety in Design meeting with the other discipline designers where we analyse our respective designs for any safety hazards and develop possible mitigation measures. Along with cross-discipline reviews, these meetings always provide great insight into how my drainage design affects the designs of other disciplines.
I head to my committee meeting for Pathways: a team that runs both social and career-oriented events for young professionals at WSP.
I make my afternoon cup of tea and scan my to-do list to ensure that I am on track to complete the tasks on time.
Time to go home! I pack up and say goodbye to my colleagues.
I arrive home, change out of my work clothes and unwind by watching a YouTube video or two.
As part of my role in the non-profit organisation Power of Engineering, I am regularly liaising with project managers as they organise their events across NSW. I use this time to follow up on emails or have catch-up calls with the project managers to answer any queries.
Depending on which day of the week it is, I am either playing tennis or heading to the gym. I love staying active as I am an advocate for taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health.
I arrive back home, shower and have dinner.
I have a YouTube channel as a hobby (it keeps me sane!) and so I use this time to edit videos.
Time to get ready for bed.
Finally in bed and ready to sleep. Let’s hope that I am mentally prepared to fight tomorrow’s 6.00 am battle!
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