Winnie believes that as long as we persist in working towards impossible goals, it’s likely we’ll overcome difficulties and make them possible.
Moving on her own from her homeland of China to Australia at the age of 17, Winnie began her journey of completing secondary and tertiary education.
Interested in construction, she studied Civil Engineering at UWA and now has three large, complex and challenging projects in the Pilbara region under her belt.
“Pursuing impossible means courage and persistence to me.”
One of Winnie’s biggest challenges was coming to Australia with very little spoken English. Working in a pizza shop while studying for her TEE ensured this fast learner could learn the language and apply it to her studies.
Upon completion of her honours, Winnie took one step closer to making her dream of an engineering career a reality, by securing interviews with several companies and, ultimately, a position as graduate engineer and then moving into project-based work.
“With a gruelling FIFO work schedule, in the tough, remote environment of the Pilbara, my passion for my profession and desire to learn, earned me the respect of my colleagues over time. I attribute my ability to earn respect in such a situation, as being a willingness to be humble, learn, yet stand firm in the face of any unprofessional behaviour.”
Hard work paid off for Winnie. In addition to working her way up the engineering ladder, she was nominated for the National Association of Women in Construction Young Achiever Award and invited to speak at the Women in Mining conference taking place in South Africa.
“Everyone needs to have their dreams; sometimes the dream seems to be so far away, but you should never give up working towards it – what if the dream comes true one day?”
Winnie attributes her career success to the solid foundation received at UWA through her engineering degree. It was not just about the theory or academic results – Winnie found the ability to adapt, learn, absorb, analyse and apply herself.
“As an engineer, a degree certificate only opens the door to you in this industry; once you are in, everyone is back to the starting line. Academic transcripts are important, but the knowledge and practical experience is far more important in reality.”
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