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UC alumna builds career while studying

Antony Perry

13 April 2017: It’s a competitive and male-dominated industry, but University of Canberra graduate Timnit Tessema is making her mark on Canberra’s construction scene.

Ms Tessema, 22, has just entered the second year of a cadetship program with Multiplex, the head contractor building the new University of Canberra Public Hospital.

She’s been involved with the project since construction began in early 2016 and it’s a journey she is relishing.

“The great thing about this job at Multiplex is that I have been gaining professional experience while studying,” Ms Tessema said.

“I have immersed myself in this journey and I believe that I have got an edge because of it. Like anything, the more you know and learn, the more you have to offer.”

Ms Tessema graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture on Wednesday 12 April, but she has not finished with her studies at the University.

She is also studying a Bachelor of Building and Construction Management, which she will complete later this year.

Ms Tessema said juggling two degrees with full-time work had been tough, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I have been lucky enough to work on the hospital project with a team that is very willing to help the cadets and graduates progress in terms of education and experience,” she said.

“This is my first job in the building and construction industry and it has been a steep learning curve but one that I am very much enjoying.”

Although her time as a student is not yet over, Ms Tessema said studying at the University of Canberra has prepared her well for life outside the classroom.

“I have been challenged, I have struggled and I have succeeded, but now I feel as if I am prepared for the real world,” she said.

“I have had incredible tutors and lecturers that have supported me and were very understanding about my work commitments.

“I think I have been incredibly lucky in that regard.”