Daisy Zhu

Meet McKenzie & Co at the 2020 CDES Internship & Graduate Career Expo!

Daisy Zhu

  • Graduate Civil Engineer at McKenzie & Co
  • Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Honours)

Did your career plans change as you studied?

During high school I always planned on going into Civil Engineering as my career goal, though I was not aware of the vast variety of sub specialisations available to us at the University of Auckland. During the second and third year I found it helpful that we had covered a large variety of structures, civil and environmental courses. This allowed me to have a sufficient understanding of all fields as the knowledge and skills are very much related to one another in real world applications. Putting all this to practice was where internships and work experiences played a major part in my decision to go further into the studies of stormwater management. For me, this emphasized the importance of gaining summer work experience in our field of study as I believe it greatly affect our fourth-year choices, graduation plans, and even the option of pursuing further post graduate studies.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?

I am currently a graduate civil design engineer at McKenzie & Co Consultants, where I was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time role after interning for two summers with them. McKenzie & Co Consultants are a company specialized in providing sub-division and land development services in the Auckland region. As a fast-growing company founded in 2014, there are many large-scale projects where I see myself obtaining many opportunities to be a part of. I have so much to learn and room to grow in this field with the company I am with so I see myself working for McKenzie for the long foreseeable future. I also love the work environment and relationships I have developed with my co-workers over the two summers prior to my permanent role.

How valuable was your internship OR work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?

I cannot emphasize enough about the importance and value that an internship or summer work experience has to offer to young adults entering the work field. This transition phase can be extremely uncertain and uncomfortable to some while to others it may not be such a big deal. In my experience, during the early stages of territory studies is where things became more and more uncertain when it came to thinking about the future and sub-specialisation choices I had to make. After landing my internship, the professional guidance and reassurance my co-workers and supervisors had provided became a major support system to me outside of the university. This lead to my own personalised career pathways, which I think is applicable to all students completing an engineering pathway, and therefore makes us unique and individual from each other.