Rachel Harrison

Civil Engineer – Calibre

My Story

Over the past seven years, Civil Engineer Rachel Harrison has taken on varied roles across a range of markets. For her, this has meant the invaluable opportunity to develop a comprehensive skillset, which many in the industry don’t always get.

“My days are quite varied. I’m involved in everything. From design, project management, and contract administration, I get to deal with both clients and contractors. I work mainly in the three water areas (stormwater, wastewater, water supply) and roading, as well as urban development to a lesser degree.

“As we are quite a small office I get to work across divisions and project phases. I’m able to see projects the whole way through to construction.

“In bigger companies it’s much more likely that you get boxed into a designing or drafting role, a project management role… At Calibre, I’ve been lucky to have varied input into different projects. As a result, I feel that I have quite a broad skillset.”

As “more than just a number”, Rachel has been continually recognised and rewarded for her efforts. Essential to her career development – and fulfilment – is the constant possibility to extend herself.

“I’ve become progressively more involved with project management. I’ve also, over time, had more direct involvement with clients. This has been in line with my ambitions – as I’ve been ready and wanting to take on new challenges and responsibilities, I’ve been given them.”

In addition to her diverse project experience, Rachel’s professional development has been enhanced through the chance to pursue further study as well as being deployed on a secondment.

“After I completed my Diploma in Engineering (Civil) and worked at Calibre fulltime, I decided I wanted to study towards a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil). Calibre supported me greatly during this time, allowing flexibility around part-time study which I completed at the end of 2014.

“They’ve also really encouraged me to participate in the secondment that I’m currently doing, which is beneficial for the company but particularly for me. The secondment allows me to really see how the client works on their side. It’s informed greater insight into their processes.

“If there’s anything that can really help you in this field, it’s understanding the client better.”

Of course, the other thing that helps Rachel to meet the challenges she encounters in her various roles is the collaborative environment at Calibre.

“In general it’s always a challenge to make sure you are meeting client requirements. And like all jobs, there’s always deadlines. Sometimes encountering new problems or issues can also pose a bit of a challenge. But challenges are good – that’s how we learn!

“Fortunately there’s always someone to discuss issues with. Not just in my office but within other offices too. You never have to do it on your own…”


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