Civil engineering student
University of Tasmania
Claudia Turner is currently studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with Honours at the University of Tasmania where she volunteers as an Engineers Australia student ambassador.
Claudia was the recipient of the GHD civil engineering scholarship for 2019-2020 and has completed her first placement with them over the summer of 2018. Upon the completion of her degree, Claudia hopes to work as a structural engineer. She is currently employed at the University of Tasmania as a Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) leader for an engineering unit where she hosts regular study sessions for the second-year students.
Through her work as a volunteer for Engineers Australia, Diversity and Inclusion Sub-Committee she has become passionate about promoting diversity in the engineering profession.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I began volunteering with Engineers Australia in July of 2018 as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Sub-Committee in Hobart. This year, I have taken on the role of an Engineers Australia student Ambassador at the University of Tasmania.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I became a volunteer because I am passionate about promoting diversity in the engineering profession. I strongly believe that a broad representation of people promotes creativity and benefits workplace culture. Through volunteering with Engineers Australia, I have been given the opportunity to become a leader in my local community and with that the platform to promote inclusion. I decided to become a student ambassador so that I can support my peers with their professional development and to ensure that they have a fulfilling university experience.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have been given as a volunteer to expand my professional networks and to build relationships with practising engineers. I have learned a lot about engineering and have been able to meet with many inspiring leaders in Hobart.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
In 2018, I had the opportunity to be involved with the planning and facilitation of a networking event at the University of Tasmania with the Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee. It was very rewarding to be a part of an event that promoted diversity in engineering and additionally supported the University of Tasmania. I was proud to observe the positive impact that it had on the students that attended.
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
As a student I bring a fresh perspective to my volunteer roles. This is very important with my work as an ambassador, which allows me to connect the students with Engineers Australia through communication and the promotion of events. I look forward to increasing my areas of contribution as my career develops further.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
As a student engineer I feel that networking and professional experience should supplement a university education. I treat my volunteer work as a key part of my workplace preparation and use time management to prioritise my work load. I thoroughly enjoy being an Engineers Australia volunteer and this helps me to stay focussed on achieving a balance in study and contributing to the profession.
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Being an Engineers Australia volunteer is a great way to become a part of your local engineering community. There are so many fantastic opportunities available to you as a volunteer that add value and satisfaction to your career, as well as having a positive effect on the profession. I would highly recommend being involved as a volunteer.