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Student story

Janguk Lee

20 July 2023

"Studying Civil Engineering at UC helped me convert my Korean engineering experiences to the local environment..."


Master of Engineering Studies with an endorsement in Civil Engineering

Civil Engineer, Cardno New Zealand Limited, Wellington


Tell us about your background.

I am originally from Busan, South Korea, and a graduate of the Konkuk University. In South Korea I was employed as a Civil Engineer and worked on land development projects. I graduated UC in December 2018 and am now employed in Wellington.

Why did you choose Christchurch, New Zealand?

New Zealand demands engineers from outside of country. I was looking for a country where I can contribute my skills and obtain a great experience. What’s more, Christchurch is becoming an international city absorbing students and immigrants from all over the world. I have met and become friends with many people who are of diverse backgrounds.

Why did you choose UC? 

UC has a great reputation in civil engineering. Given my experience as a Civil engineer in land development projects, I have always had an interest in developing land and building infrastructures. Also, I believed that pursuing a master’s degree can help me find a job in New Zealand. 

How have you found the UC learning experience?

I have enjoyed every process of understanding the course. Researching, calculation, modelling, and even writing were wonderful experiences for my academic adventure. In fact, UC invites prominent international professors or engineers and provides students with great lectures to make them understand the challenges in the Engineering sphere. The MEngST can provide students with a variety of choices. You can even join some of the undergraduate courses and can obtain basic engineering principles, prior to proceeding to a master’s level. These courses are very practical and useful when you enter the workforce in New Zealand.

Have you participated in UC clubs?

I was a volunteer with one of the biggest clubs on campus known as the Student Volunteer Army. I participated in an environmental-focused event to restore the Godley Head Park. As a result, understanding New Zealand’s volunteer culture was important to broaden my social insight. Moreover, I was able to use my volunteer experience in my job interview which was attractive to employers.

You are now employed in Wellington - Congratulations! Tell us about your new job?

I work for Cardno New Zealand which is an infrastructure, environmental, and social development company. After moving to Wellington, my company gave me a warm welcome. I was successfully able to settle down in Wellington and start work. I have been involved in land development design projects. I design roads, pipes, and residential lots by using Auto CAD civil 3D which is an amazing and powerful software for the civil design work. Furthermore, hydraulic analysis and reviewing civil design aspects are also a part of my job duties.   

How has UC prepared you for the New Zealand workforce?

Studying civil engineering at UC helped me convert my Korean engineering experiences to the local environment. The Master’s course was a good buffer for international engineers like myself who consider becoming an immigrant engineer. Thanks to dealing with New Zealand standards and technicalities, I was able to get on board quickly without any difficulty. Furthermore, UC Careers was very helpful in preparing me for the local job market. I appreciate the staff and Chris Bridgman at UC Careers.    

What are your career ambitions from here?

My career ambition is to become a Charted Professional Engineer and to contribute to New Zealand's land development.

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