Award-winning AECOM Environmental Practitioner Shares Three Tips for New Consultants

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Award-winning AECOM Environmental Practitioner Shares Three Tips for New Consultants

AECOM's Zara Marais, professional environmental scientist, recently received the 2014 Tor Hundloe Award for “Young Environmental Practitioner of the Year," which is awarded by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand for outstanding contributions to the environment profession by a young practitioner. She was invited to contribute an AECOM Impact blog post providing tips for new consultants. The image features a a graduate networking event at AECOM's Sydney, Australia, office.

AECOM's Zara Marais, professional environmental scientist, recently received the 2014 Tor Hundloe Award for “Young Environmental Practitioner of the Year," which is awarded by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand for outstanding contributions to the environment profession by a young practitioner. She was invited to contribute an AECOM Impact blog post providing tips for new consultants. The image features a a graduate networking event at AECOM's Sydney, Australia, office.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 9:05am

CAMPAIGN: Thought Leadership

CONTENT: Blog

AECOM Impact blog

AECOM's Zara Marais, professional environmental scientist, recently received the 2014 Tor Hundloe Award for “Young Environmental Practitioner of the Year," which is awarded by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) for outstanding contributions to the environment profession by a young practitioner. She was invited to contribute an AECOM Impact blog post providing tips for new consultants.

Like many graduates, I left university with slight apprehension and a handful of vague ideas about the future. I had spent most of my spare time volunteering with conservation organisations and enjoyed this work immensely. At the same time, I felt a need to broaden my horizons and try something new. I took the leap and applied for a consulting job. Since joining AECOM in 2012 as a graduate environmental scientist, I haven’t looked back — simply because I’ve been too busy to look anywhere but forward. Drawing on my own experiences, I thought I would share three tips for new graduates entering the world of consulting:

1. Find a mentor or two

The best thing about joining your first company is that it immediately places you within reach of senior professionals in your field.  Most are approachable, and many are willing to offer guidance and support if you ask for it. My own mentoring relationships have varied in purpose, formality and duration, but have all been valuable. Although your own company is a great place to find a mentor, the independent perspective of an external mentor can also be useful. Some industry associations hold social events for this purpose and some, like mine, even run mentoring programs. Having benefitted greatly from the mentoring program offered by the New South Wales division of the EIANZ, I’m currently involved in trying to roll the program out in other states.

2. Join your industry or professional association

Obvious benefits of becoming a member of your professional association include gaining access to industry events and training, networking opportunities, and professional accreditation. If you take one step further and join their committees, you also stand to learn how to run successful events, be the first to hear industry news, and form friendships with some of the most passionate people in your profession. Less than a year after joining my local EIANZ committee, I was lucky enough to be able to attend their 2014 Annual Conference in Hobart, Tasmania — and even luckier to receive the Tor Hundloe Award. Although I suspect I’ve benefitted more from my involvement than they have, I hope to continue contributing to their work and building a stronger relationship between AECOM and the institute.

3. Never stop applying

After surviving the graduate-recruitment process, you may be tempted to settle into your new desk, throw away your CV and breathe a sigh of relief. Although it will hopefully be some time before you apply for a new job, it’s a good idea to practice by applying for every internal project, promotion or committee that interests you. Even if you don’t succeed, you’re bound to learn something from the experience. After replying to an email about an opportunity in AECOM’s Melbourne office, I’m now exploring a new city and working as the environment coordinator for a major electrical infrastructure project. Yesterday, I filled out a very different application, for an Indian business visa, after having successfully applied for the 2015 Pollinate Energy Young Professionals Program. If the visa application goes to plan, AECOM will sponsor me to travel to Hyderabad with Pollinate in April to help them facilitate the distribution of socially and environmentally beneficial products to the city’s disadvantaged. I’m looking forward to contributing to the AECOM Impact blog later this year about my experience in India.

Check out more blog posts on industry insights in the AECOM Impact blog!

 

About AECOM
AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as a World’s Most Admired Company. The company is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, had revenue of approximately $19 billion during the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2014. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com.

Media Contact:
Ed Mayer
Vice President, Corporate Communications
+1.732.564.3380
Ed.Mayer@aecom.com

Keywords: Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | AECOM | Australia | Awards, Ratings & Rankings | Diversity & Inclusion | Environment | New Zealand

CAMPAIGN: Thought Leadership

CONTENT: Blog

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