Shona Kalani, Graduate Engineer Bridges (Kaipūkaha Paetahi Arawhata), joined WSP in 2019 in Ahuriri | Napier.
She said it was a tough decision to move from Auckland to Napier, but she was drawn to the regional office for the opportunities available. She wanted to gain a wider exposure on various components of bridge engineering and work with the strong bridges team in Napier.
“It’s been a big learning curve in terms of new people, new work, and adjusting to life in a new place with no friends. The new exposure has many positives; I have developed strength and maturity, and I get to learn from smart, capable people. Looking back on it, I am happy I made the decision.”
Shona said her work is varied. She is exposed to the entire life cycle of bridge asset management, from inspections to structural bridge design to quality assurance on site. She is also involved in project management and client relations.
She is also part of the Community Connection Advisors Group at WSP. The purpose of the group is to inform and guide people in opportunities to give back to the community for initiatives such as Community Day.
“WSP gives all permanent employees one day of paid leave to support their local communities – be it environment, STEM education, sharing technical expertise, or working with community groups. How cool is that!”
Shona covers a day at work as a WSP Graduate:
My day begins with a guided meditation for focus and calm. I then drive in to work, which usually takes 10 minutes (in traffic!). I come in to work and grab my second coffee on the way to my desk.
This morning I am finalising the technical specification for handrail replacements for five bridges on State Highway 2.
Our team often has morning coffees together. This morning we went out to the local café.
I designed a bracket as part of strucutral bridge repairs for one of the local bridges, and I am called to see it on site. This is the first time I am seeing something I designed out in the world! This is what it’s all about! Look Ma, I made a thing!
We are very lucky in Napier to be close this beautiful view. My lunch break usually involves a walk with a view.
I head out to the next site for the day. As a Graduate, I am exposed to a variety of projects and tasks. I love getting my hands dirty! This bridge needed an assessment of capacity, but it had no drawings. I do a concrete breakout to measure the steel bar diameters.
At WSP, we have a very active social club scene. This evening we had a quiz, and almost the whole of our office participates. Bonus! Our team came 2nd!
My evenings are typically a mix of volleyball, sailing, or evening art classes. This evening I am learning how to draw at a class at the local art studio.