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International Civil Engineering student shines in Victorian training awards

19 Nov 2017

Andrea Mayorga has achieved a lot since she came to Australia from Colombia to study, most recently a top three finish in the the Victorian International Education Awards for the VET International Student of the Year.

Education formed a big part of Andrea’s life in Colombia, where she completed both a Bachelor and Master of Civil Engineering. With stellar grades, she found work and spent two years trying to combine the theory she learned at university with on-the-job practice.

“I realised that some of the theoretical knowledge learned in my previous studies was not clear in the practice,” she said.

This was motivation enough for her to pack her suitcase and undertake the Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology (Civil) at Melbourne Polytechnic.

“Studying in the engineering technology program has been a way to learn about the technical and practical processes and standards relating to engineering works.”

Her other motivation, to learn English to a high level, has also been realised and it has broadened her professional opportunities.

“I have gotten a very rich professional jargon in English, which is complementary to my engineering qualifications.”

“Altogether, great language skills and a complete set of abilities in the technical-practical engineering field will help me to become the best civil engineer I could be, in order to participate in humanitarian engineering practices across the world.”

Andrea doesn’t just talk about doing good in her career and life; she gets out there and does it.

“In 2012, I became a member of a Rotaract Club (part of Rotary Serving Humanity), developing a playground in a vulnerable community for a period of 2 years to generate a comfortable space for children.”

This continuing involvement with Rotary has led to her being on the staff of the Model United Nations Assembly, Bacchus Marsh in May 2017.

Her resume of good work includes time as the past president of the Melbourne Polytechnic International Students Association (MPISA), where she helped other students acclimatise to Australia.

“By working in a variety of jobs that were unusual to me, such as a waitress, a bike rider, chef and florist, has helped me to increase my multitasking, language and personal skills and to understand the Australian life through being part of its multicultural atmosphere.”

“I used these experiences to inspire and support the community of international students through my role as leader of Melbourne Polytechnic International Students Association.”

Andrea has achieved a lot, but she credits her move to Australia for allowing her to grow into herself.

“I can say that my leadership skills were hidden until I arrived in Australia and that I regained them through being the President of MPISA.”

Andrea’s professional career is in its infancy, but with her drive, education and commitment to humanitarian civil engineering projects, it is likely to be a prosperous and fulfilling one.

Andrea’s story is not a unique one. In excess of 175,000 students from more than 160 countries choose Victoria as a place to study for its world-class education system and cosmopolitan capital with internationally renowned festivals and events.

The Victorian International Education Awards are a celebration of the achievements of international students and the positive impact they have on the Australian and international community. Congratulations Andrea, we are proud of you.

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