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Ignite Graduate Program /

Eliza Dodd

2020 Graduate Engineer

Eliza Dodd

Eliza commenced her civil engineering degree at Federation University, Ballarat after enjoying a double gap year. She made up time going the extra mile by graduating with Honours. She applied for the Civilex Ignite Graduate Program after hearing good things about Civilex and joined the team as one of our 2020 graduates in the Ignite Graduate Program earlier this year.

Sparking an Interest in Civil Engineering

Maths was her strength in years 10 and 11 and accompanied her father in his property development and land subdivision business and enjoyed the opportunity of being on site and understanding how figures worked in the real world. She attended expos with her father in Sydney and Brisbane to help promote his work.

While attending an expo, Eliza met a civil engineering student which sparked her interest in knowing more about the discipline and future career pathways and opportunities.

Born and raised in Ballarat, Eliza is the middle of three daughters who is the sole family member pursuing a career in engineering. She was offered a scholarship to study engineering at Deakin but turned it down choosing to fill her time working for local companies and reapplied to study civil engineering the following year closer to home at Federation University.

Why Civilex?

Eliza’s sister had a friend whose father had worked at Civilex and mentioned it was a great company to work for. She did her own initial research online – people, projects and culture including what Civilex offered its graduates in the two-year Civilex Ignite Graduate Program. Eliza says, “I was attracted to Civilex because I really wanted my values to align with the company and most of all to be a valued member of the team, not just another number.”

Eliza also wanted to gain exposure across diverse civil engineering projects and sectors and to learn and develop her career in a welcoming, friendly environment.

Opportunities & Pathways

Keen to look at all her options when it came to career progression and pathways, Eliza says, “I know I enjoy being more hands-on – getting involved in activities and talking to people. I’m also very organised so initially, my thinking is following a construction career pathway in Project Management.”

Starting her journey in the construction industry at our head office in Spotswood, Eliza is beginning to get a sense of it all coming together: procurement packages and plans and being out on-site as part of the team from the get-go. “I’m really excited about being part of a team here and seeing projects take shape from the very beginning right through until they’re complete.”

Eliza is working with Civilex Project Manager Wallid Ahmadzai and will be based at the Civilex project Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. The project is in the early stages of foundational work with lots of earthworks occurring. “I’m astounded at how much I’m learning each and every day – I can’t believe how fast the days go!”

Challenging The Status Quo

After attending an all-girls’ school close to home followed by four years of university life with a non-existent female cohort in her civil engineering discipline – Eliza discovered she was the only female student graduating from her civil engineering degree. Somewhat revealing of her determination and the kind of personality it takes with the current numbers of women studying engineering. “There were quite a few times where I doubted myself, especially when male counterparts at university would question my abilities. But it hasn’t stopped me – rather it challenged me to try harder at uni (thanks guys!).”

It’s full steam ahead for Eliza as she commences her Civilex Ignite Graduate Program.