23 June 2023
Graduate Gabriella D'Agata recently spoke to prosple about her experience in the SYSTRA ANZ Graduate Program. Read her story below.

What’s your job about?

SYSTRA is an engineering consulting firm so that means that I’m helping clients understand what their needs or issues are and working with them on a day-to-day basis. I’m currently undergoing my first rotation with a senior engineer in the transport sector and I’m shadowing him through his career to get a better idea of the work he does and learn more about the company. It’s really helpful having such a good mentor because it means I can ask him anything and we talk almost everyday. He’s really good at getting me involved in “bite-sized” tasks for different areas of the business so I get to try different things and meet different people within the company. My average day usually consists of a few meetings, going through emails, lunch with colleagues, and scheduling some extra productive hours to get work done, and usually the days go by pretty quickly. As a graduate, you tend to get a lot of “odd jobs” which I don’t mind because it’s 1-2 hours of work and when you’re done you feel more accomplished rather than working on a massive project where you can’t really see the end product for a few years.

What’s your background?

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and moved closer to the city when I was in high school which had a pretty big impact on my schooling and my friends at the time. Changing schools in Year 10 was pretty tough but it helped me become more independent and I even got my first job. While I knew working in retail wasn’t for me in the long run, my colleagues made the job worthwhile. In my final year at university, I wanted to get some industry experience so I got a job in maintenance at a chocolate mousse factory. At times, juggling full-time university and two jobs was really tough but you learn a lot about yourself and if you can prioritise your time, you can actually achieve anything. When I finally graduated, I was pretty burnt out and I quit my job and I went backpacking through Europe for 3 months. I knew it was something I really wanted to do, as my family is Italian and Maltese and I definitely want to go back soon.

Flash forward to February 2023, I got off the plane and started my new job at SYSTRA two days later. Now it’s crazy to look back on because I’ve already been working for SYSTRA for four months! The final year was stressful enough and applying for jobs made it even more stressful but I’m glad it paid off and I could focus on my exams knowing I had a position at SYSTRA. 

“There are so many different projects that the management team tries really hard to put you on a project that makes sense for your background and skill set.”

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Definitely yes, all of the graduates I’ve met at SYSTRA come from different backgrounds, the only things we have in common are an engineering degree, a willingness to learn and respect for the company. There are so many different projects that the management team tries really hard to put you on a project that makes sense for your background and skill set. That being said, there are some characteristics that will help you thrive no matter what company you work for, an open mind, a good attitude and persistence go a long way. 

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

My job is pretty unique because I’m working so closely with a senior engineer it’s really easy for me to know if I’m doing my job well. We have daily meetings, usually only 15-30 minutes, where we go through what I’ve done and what I’ll be doing until the next meeting. It really gives me a chance to ask any questions and get feedback. In addition, my colleagues in Melbourne make an effort to try all the different lunch spots in our area so there’s always an open invite for some good food. We also have a tennis court in our building!

What are the limitations of your job?

Engineering consulting is such a broad and overwhelming industry so sometimes it can be hard to see where you fit in. Especially as a graduate, sometimes a project lead will need someone more experienced and because it’s a client’s request, there isn’t much room to persuade them otherwise. I think the biggest limitation of my job is being underestimated, sometimes it might feel like you’re not being utilised to your full potential but I think as time goes on, people get to know you better personally and professionally and you have a better sense of belonging.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student…

  • Study hard but when you graduate, I promise you won’t remember that one test you failed in your second year, it’s not worth compromising your mental health over, just try your best.
  • If you don’t understand something or need an extension, just email your lecturer, the worst they can say is no.
  • Get yourself a diary. Digital. Physical. A Kmart one. It doesn’t matter but get one you like and write all of your due dates in there from week 1. Keep to-do lists and make internal deadlines for yourself so you can break down those bigger assessments. 

To find out more about the SYSTRA ANZ Graduate Program click here.


SYSTRA ANZ’s mission is to be there where it matters; on the complex projects with the greatest impact, providing innovative solutions that will shape the future of our communities. As one of the world’s leading engineering and consulting groups, we are focused on building tomorrow’s mobility solutions today. Operating in more than 80 countries, we have designed 1 in 2 of the world’s metros and highspeed rail lines. The ANZ team is an integral part of part of our global network, backed by 9000+ experts, providing us the unique ability to be agile with global scale.​

For more information, please contact: Victoria Black, Director of Clients, Markets and Engagement, SYSTRA at vblack1@systra.com.

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