What’s your name and job title? What did you study?
My name is Sally Hayward and I am a Civil Water Engineer at Stantec. I studied a Bachelors in Civil Engineering with Honours at the University of Canterbury.
How did you get to your current job position and for how long have you occupied it?
After graduating, I joined URS (an AECOM company) which later merged to become AECOM. There I worked on a number of water resource focussed projects including river and groundwater protection zone modelling, safety and flood assessments for irrigation dams and a 9-month secondment to ECan to work on the Regional Plan in the Waimakariri Zone. In order to gain additional stormwater experience, I joined the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) team for an 8-month secondment to design stormwater assets on the new SH1 following the Kaikoura earthquake. Soon after leaving NCTIR, I left AECOM to join the civil water team to further expand my design experience.
I have been working for Stantec for 15 months and last year, shortly after joining Stantec, I had the opportunity to travel to Kaikoura for an extended time to complete construction monitoring and MSQA work for the Kaikoura District Council earthquake rebuild programme. This has included 3 water projects and really expanded my understanding of the construction industry.
How can students best prepare for interviews?
Attend interview-prep events or research common questions that interviewers ask. Ensure that you always have examples to draw on for your answers to show that you are not just saying what the interviewer wants.
How can students set themselves apart from their peers?
Understand the company (and industry) that you are interviewing into. Research some major projects that you find interesting that they have done.
Another good way to prepare is to go to information evenings or careers expos so you can understand the culture of the company you are interviewing for.
What are the do’s and dont's in an interview?
Be yourself – If you try to pretend to be someone else and upon getting the job it turns out the company culture doesn’t fit your personality it can be a far worse experience than not getting the job.
What is your number one tip for students when interviewing?
Have fun and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. It is important to show the interviewer your personality and to help them understand what your main drivers are in looking to start a new job or career.