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Working lives

Australian Vaughn Campbell, 26, is working in the UK as a project engineer for One 2 One Telecommunications' structural design and innovations group.

Route to job

In my final year at the University of Newcastle (in Australia), where I was studying for a degree in civil engineering, I worked part time as a structural engineer for Connell Wagner Consulting Engineers.

I continued to work with them for three years after graduating.

I became a chartered structural engineer before embarking on my trip to the UK, in the hope it would improve my chances of securing quality employment.

My first job in the UK was working as a contract structural engineer for Ove Arup & Partners.

I got this through registering with an engineering recruitment agency.

After a stint of travelling, I spotted a Hays Montrose advertisement in NCE for a structural engineer to work in telecommunications. I went for this job as it offered the opportunity to branch into a new and diverse area of engineering.

Expectations

I did not expect working as an engineer in the UK would be too different to working in Australia.

I knew that the initial concept stage, analysis principles and construction processes for a project would all be very similar. It would just be a case of coming up to speed with the differences between British and Australian design standards. With my new job, I still half expected I would be doing some form of detailed number crunching analysis of telecommunication buildings and towers.

The reality

As it turns out the standards are not very different, with the British ones actually being easier to use.

My current job involves devising innovative ways to disguise transmitters and equipment so they blend naturally into their surroundings. To be able to define the build standards, develop the prototype model and then produce an approved innovative structure, I am required to work closely with specialist suppliers, telecommunication manufacturers and external design consultants and contractors.

Advice

My advice for someone in Australia searching for a job in the UK that will be both rewarding and beneficial for future employment is to avoid the temptation of rushing straight over here as soon as you have completed your studies.

There is a much greater range of interesting jobs on offer for engineers with three to four years' postgraduate experience.

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