Richards Consulting Engineers Graduate Profile

Meet Richards Consulting Engineers at the CDES Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Expo!

Zane Quensell

  • Graduate Structural Engineer, Richards Consulting Engineers
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Did your career plans change as you studied?
I had a very good idea of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do prior to beginning my studies at the University of Auckland, and the classes I took over the course of my degree reinforced this. So, following on from my first year I had only one pathway I saw ahead for my future career, and that was in Civil and Environmental Engineering (more so the former than the latter), as a Structural Engineer. However, the group projects I did each year following on from this decision made me realise that the various fields of engineering are not mutually exclusive, and I found that other ideas I learnt in non-structurally based courses, fed into the decisions I would make as a Structural Engineer. So, although my career plans did not change over the course of my studies, I did find myself more open and accepting of the learnings from other fields.

Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?
I see myself working in a more management-based engineering role in the next five to ten years. Throughout University my friends would comment on how well I would do as a manager, due to my ability to tell people how it is, and get things done. Over the first couple months of full-time work, I can say that the greatest part of my current role is having the responsibility and ability to talk to clients and contractors, rather than just being a number cruncher all day every day. Ultimately, I would say this is the best part of any job, as everything revolves around people.

How valuable was your work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?
Working in the industry is a whole different ball game to studying. As a student your learning is condensed, with little to no time to properly think about the things you learn in a practical sense. I think the most valuable part of my work experience as a student was being able to make connections between what I learnt at University and how it actually physically affected things. This made it easier for me to grasp the things we learnt, and ultimately helped me understand why they were important. My experience with Richards Consulting Engineers has given me a great exposure to the industry, from conducting site investigations, to designing foundations and structures.