Waikato students talk shop with engineering leaders

23 January 2014

Waikato engineering students attend IPENZ

Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) networking: From left, Waikato University engineering students Shalini Guleria, Elizabeth Geddes and Tim Ng attended an event in Wellington where they met with five CEOs from engineering companies

Three University of Waikato engineering students joined five of New Zealand's top engineering leaders for a networking event in Wellington late last year.

The December event was run by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) as an initiative to get more graduates with relevant skills into the profession. The CEOs from OPUS, Fonterra, Transpower, GHD, Beca and Windsor Engineering Group were present to talk with the students. A total of 25 students attended from tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand.

Focus on leadership

Waikato student Elizabeth Geddes says the knowledge she gained from the day was invaluable.

“We chatted to all of the leaders about their leadership styles and what they felt worked when in a management position. What was interesting was that the advice that they all gave was essentially the same in purpose and intent,” says Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is the Young Engineers Society (YES) president and the student chairperson for Student Engineers New Zealand. The former Whangarei Girls’ High School student is in her final year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) BE(Hons) studying Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Engineering profession a great career

“I came away from the event feeling more relaxed about my future career. All of the leaders I spoke to said they did not enter the engineering profession with the idea that they would one day become a CEO; they simply worked hard and made the most of the opportunities that came their way.”

Also attending from Waikato University was Tim Ng, who has completed a BE(Hons) in Chemical and Biological Engineering and will begin a PhD funded by Callaghan Innovation in March. The former St Paul’s Collegiate School student was sponsored by the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research to attend the Wellington event.

The third Waikato student involved was Shalini Guleria who has just begun her second year of a BE(Hons) in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Shalini is a former student of Hamilton Girls’ High School.

Latest stories