Alsa Muhammandun

Engineering Student

Alsa is doing an Honours degree in Civil Engineering, inspired by her dad, who also works in the field. She shares her inspiring story.

What work do you do?

I am currently studying at university doing Civil Engineering (Honours).

When you were at school, did you know what work you wanted to do?

I knew what I major I wanted to take.

How did you get started?

I was inspired by my dad who also works in civil engineering. I know we rarely see girls doing civil engineering (and I think most of engineering as well). I was a bit anxious about that, but I’m lucky that my family have always supported me in what I wanted to do. And, hey, it’s 2019! Equality.

What makes you feel powerful?

Well, I’m usually the only girl in the class so I always think that in that way, I’m special and unique. And then I always say to myself ‘OK, I can do whatever is given to me.’

Have you experienced any ‘failures’ so far?

Well, I haven’t started a job yet, but I suppose yes, because I had to take the IELTS (English language) test three times before I could get into uni. You learn something from failure. So, as long as you’ve done your best, don’t be afraid to fail.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment?

I think it’s making both my parents happy. I study civil engineering, which is the area my father works in and he always imagined we would work together as a father-daughter working partnership. I recently did exactly that during my last summer break.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

My mum and dad, my brother and a couple of close friends.

How has technology changed your industry in the last 5-10 years?

I’ll answer this from the perspective of my country, Indonesia. 5-10 years ago, having an MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) system was only a dream for us. Since March 2019, we’ve been able to travel the capital city using MRT. And since 2012, we’ve seen many construction projects happen, like new roads, especially in rural areas.

What’s your advice for young girls thinking about a career in engineering?

Hmm, I choose the classic advice “Believe in yourself and you can do anything.”

Girls are special. We have three sides to us – the physical, the spiritual and the intellectual.

In your wildest dreams, what would you love to do every single day and get paid for?

I’d love to be the first person to watch a movie or my favourite YouTube channel before the release date!

Industry: Engineering
Job: Student