An accidental subject choice in school is what sparked an early interest in engineering and drafting. I mistook Technical Graphics as an Art/Design course and spent six months on drawing boards and computers, rather than the easels and paintbrushes I was expecting. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed the change and found myself in a four year apprenticeship as a toolmaker while studying an Engineering Diploma at TAFE. Such an insignificant mistake in school laid the foundations for my career today.
For the last three years I have been working in Sydney for Cadgroup, a software and consulting company that provides engineering solutions to companies across Australia. As a Technical Applications Engineer I support and facilitate improvements though advancements in design software. Companies are constantly looking for new ways to improve products and services they offer, and technology is a common way of implementing this. Australia has also been well known for its cutting edge design and innovation, and as a company we like to make sure that we are on the forefront fostering and establishing technology to our customers.
In receiving an Industry Leaders Fund grant I was able to attend a global conference in the US called Autodesk University. This is a conference that brings together over 500 experts from industry professionals, magazine columnists, authors and technical gurus to teach and speak about the latest technology, hardware, software and services being used across the world. With a total of nearly 30,000 designers, engineers, architects and digital artists from 72 different countries, it’s one of the largest technology community gatherings of its kind. I was extremely proud to be representing Australia, and the information that I was able to collect was invaluable, as it covered so many niche markets and topics that I was simply not be able to find anywhere else.
As a result of my time overseas at the conference, I have been able enhance and up-skill my current knowledge, passing it onto my team and immediately passing the lessons learnt onto our customers in South Australia. I have also been able to plan and share many new and exciting up and coming products that developers shared with us that will be released in the near future.
In the past the highest demand for our services has been in Sydney and Melbourne, but more recently other markets have expanded, leading to an opening for the business in South Australia. Being from Adelaide originally, and having a strong technical background, I was offered the opportunity to extend myself further and move home to establish and manage a brand new office. In this new venture, the Industry Leaders Fund grant was a fantastic resource to receive advice and develop wealth-creating industry leadership opportunities in South Australia. To complement my new position and provide a springboard for my future leadership aspirations, ILF recommended a management course as well.
Starting the Professional Management Program this year at the University of Adelaide is an exciting new area of learning that I am eager to begin. The practical learning is something that I am going to be able to directly apply in building my new office. I think it will also improve my communication skills and help me get things done effectively in the business.
In completing this course I hope to be able to use these skills to maximise the opportunities that develop by establishing and growing the new office in Adelaide as well as with new customers.
The Industry leaders Fund grant has allowed me to strengthen my current technical skills while also developing and broadening into new areas. Their advice has been an invaluable resource, and the fact that I have been able to study under experts from across the globe has been an absolutely amazing experience.
I would highly recommend anyone considering applying for an Industry Leaders Fund scholarship to do so. If you have a dream and believe that what you can do can make a wealth-generating difference in South Australian industry, the Industry leaders Fund will help you realise your full potential.