JN Engineering graduates Australia

Charting the Path: Starting a Career in Engineering with the Young Professionals program

At JN, we believe that starting a career in the engineering industry is not just a means to a livelihood: it’s a personal journey towards making a productive contribution to the profession and a wider benefit to Australian building practice.

The Young Professionals program is designed to promote the next generation of Australian engineering excellence through cross-disciplinary mentorship, networking and practical experiences. It bridges the gap between theoretical learning and real-world application, helping graduates thrive in innovative companies that support their careers from the outset.

In its third year running, JN have collaborated with Trinity Fitout & Construction, Clarke Hopkins Clarke architects, APG – Artazan Property Group project managers and BM+G building certifiers. The program’s success stories highlight its positive impact on early-stage careers and our dedication to nurturing Australian engineering talent. As a founding member of the program, JN believes such initiatives help create fulfilling careers for graduate employees by building on theoretical knowledge with involvement in impactful practical and networking experiences.

The program has evolved to ensure it best supports new talent: those who aspire to leave a mark on the engineering and construction industries through dedication to ongoing learning, creative solution-building and willingness to learn from the top by developing individual skills, outside-the-box thinking and the confidence to deploy these.

I have benefited immensely from having a few key mentors I could learn from, get advice or bounce ideas off. Having a mentor outside your organisation or profession can be most valuable because it affords fresh perspectives, knowledge and networking opportunities otherwise difficult to access.”

– Marc Stocks, JN Young Professionals Mentor

The Young Professionals program integrates key fundamentals that we believe help new talent in starting an enriching career in engineering:

Mentorship: A cornerstone of the program is the emphasis on advice and guidance from seasoned industry professionals. This supports our Young Professionals in benefiting from the know-how and skills of experts with long-tenured success in the industry, hastening our new team members’ practical insight for their working careers. It is facilitated through the assignment of mentors (within and outside JN) which ensures they receive invaluable cross-disciplinary support during their first year of appointment.

Networking: Participants in Young Professionals gain access to invaluable networking opportunities. This forms a significant part of the program, not only offering young engineers guidance and advice from industry veterans, but by providing a space to share their goals and challenges with peers at their own level, and how they may navigate these in a collaborative setting. This is crucial for building confidence, enhancing soft skills and developing insights into the engineering field in a supportive environment.

Practical Experience: Through on-site inspections and off-site mentor follow-through, participants are equipped with real-world practical experience to help them on their professional journey. Success stories from the program highlight the impact of this experience on professional learning advancement, with participants leveraging the program to build their knowledge of plan-to-project evolution in a working setting.

I found that it was a great opportunity to network, discuss work opportunities and learn to present yourself and your business.

– Young Professionals 2023 participant

A good onboarding program lays a solid foundation for a fulfilling and impactful career. The annual Young Professional program includes:

  1. A start-of-program gathering for new participants and mentors on APG’s delightful rooftop space. The event is designed to foster camaraderie and initiate and encourage open conversations about individual professional endeavours and challenges.
  2. Two annual project site visits – one during the construction phase and another upon completion – to offer a tangible understanding of the project evolution phase and emphasise the significance of coordination with other multi-disciplinary stakeholders.
  3. An interactive presentation session where young participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences in their respective fields. Young Professionals discuss what they have learned so far, the challenges they have encountered and how they have adapted to overcome them.
  4. Cross-discipline mentorship, with monthly one-on-one sessions between participants and mentors. These conversations aim to provide participants with a space to discuss their goals, plans, concerns and difficulties, with industry veterans who can offer guidance and support in an open and safe environment.
  5. A concluding event to celebrate the successful completion of the program with other participants.
Young Professionals attending a site visit
Young Professionals attending a site visit.

“Making connections with other young professionals within the industry was probably one of the most beneficial aspects of the program.”

– Young Professionals 2023 participant

Of course, the journey doesn’t end there. JN are committed to ensuring all our team members are continually supported in their careers.

We couldn’t be prouder of our participants of the Young Professionals program in their desire to kickstart their careers, underlining a dedication to their future in the Australian engineering industry. The Young Professionals program’s significant impact on early-stage employees represents JN’s ongoing commitment to nurturing a diverse and vibrant engineering community.

Are you a graduate ready to launch your career in the engineering industry? Check out our current job opportunities or get in contact with us.

Young Professionals participants at this year’s kick-start event. Young Professionals participants at this year’s kickstart event.

JN has been proudly serving the construction industry in Australia since 1970. In the early years, we operated as a small family business, specialising in the field of structural engineering. Today, JN has grown into a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy with offices across NSW and Queensland, employing around ninety individuals. Our team of experts possesses comprehensive knowledge in various engineering disciplines. JN engineering consultants specialise in civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, fire, sustainable, remedial, traffic and cladding services. We provide support to organisations, businesses and government entities in achieving their engineering and construction objectives. Our services encompass feasibility studies, conceptual design, detailed design, project management, construction supervision, commissioning and maintenance.