The Groundwork

A Day in the Life of an Undergraduate Engineer

Join Nisumi Grero for a day at work

By Nisumi Grero


Nisumi is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering and Commerce at Monash University. She is one of four undergraduate engineers who joined our Vacation Programme in November 2022. After completion of the programme, the undergraduates can continue to work 1-2 days per week during their final year of studies.




After a rainy drive to work, I arrive at the ATC Williams Melbourne office on Beach Road, Mordialloc, at 9:00 am. Today I was up at 6:00 am to fit in a cardio session at the gym (a regular occurrence, and definitely not because I knew I would be recording my day…).




I set up at my desk and catch up on emails before the morning Teams meeting. We meet online every morning at 9:10 am to discuss our tasks and what we have going on for the day. Most importantly, Diego’s pet bunny makes a special guest appearance.




At 9:30 am, I meet with my team leader Michael who outlines today’s work is logging borehole and test pit data from three reports into Excel. I’m learning how this information can be used to create ground profiles, and it’s a perfect opportunity to apply what I have learned at university to a real-world project.


But first, I need my second coffee of the day! Though shown twice by two very kind people how to use the company coffee machine, I continue to find it daunting – so it’s instant coffee all the way for me!


Breaking down a large task into smaller chunks helps me stay on track, so back at my desk, I make a little to-do list and then settle into work.




Lunch break at 2:00 pm is a good time to catch up with co-workers and bump into new staff while grabbing some coffee, fruit and Cheds from the break room to snack on later.


Back at my desk at 2:30 pm, I call Michael and Asanka (the other senior engineer I am working with today) to clarify some doubts about the data I am logging. The senior engineers are always willing to teach and help! I have learned it’s important to ask any questions I may have throughout the day.




Along with office work, I recently had a site visit to Morning Star Mine at Wood Point in Victoria with Jacob Holder, a 2021 vacation student (pictured with me above) and Peter Reid, Principal Engineer.


By 4.45 pm, I have completed most of the tasks on my list, and it’s time to wrap up. There’s a final chat with Michael to update him on my progress, and I take notes on what needs to be done next week. I complete my timesheet and finish for the day at 5:15 pm.


I hope you have enjoyed joining me for my day at ATCW as much as I have enjoyed having you with me.


I encourage local and international students to apply for the ATC Williams 2023 Vacation Program in Melbourne, Brisbane and Hunter Valley the same way I did last year – by completing the online application form before 31 August.

Remember to include a cover letter, resume and academic transcript. If you are shortlisted, you will receive an interview.

Good luck with your application. Jacob and I hope to meet you soon.


You can follow Nisumi on Linkedin here

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