Graduate Profile - Emily Hack

WiSAN Committee member

What did you study at University?
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil & Structural) with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry Double)

Are you a cat person or dog person?
Neither! I have always grown up with chickens, but Indian Runner Ducks are my favourite.

Favourite place to eat when in Adelaide?
Amalfi Pizzeria Ristorante for their delicious pizza and pasta.

What drew you to your field?
What drew me to engineering more widely is that it is a platform to collaborate on solving challenges facing society. I value the importance and influence that our built environment has on our standard of living which is what interested me in civil engineering. Finally, the significance that water plays in every aspect of our lives is what drove me towards working in the water industry.

If I could go back to my University days I would…
Appreciate the opportunity to learn and try as many new things as possible – taking courses outside of my field of study to expand my perspectives and ways of thinking, and seek out more opportunities for industry experience, making the most of all the connections that the university as to offer.

Most prized possession?
My heavy duty, brown, leather hiking boots – with them on my feet I feel like I can tackle anything the world sends my way.

If you could start a charity, what would it be for?
Personally, I think there are already so many wonderful charities in existence for causes that I am passionate about that I wouldn’t want to dilute the market anymore. Instead, I would want to find ways of connecting charities to share knowledge and experience and expand their reach by recognising that many of the challenge’s charities hope to combat are intersectional and that true change will only come from collaboration.

What is your greatest career strength?
My passion to go the extra mile. In every role there will always be little nagging tasks or challenges which need someone to spend some time and effort to address, but too often we are all caught up in the pressures of our day to day. Not only do I gain great personal satisfaction from knocking off a lingering task, I’ve found it’s a great way to demonstrate a genuine passion for my role and to make a lasting impact in the teams I work within.

Something that makes you smile Nature?
Beautiful wildlife, sweeping landscapes, stormy winter oceans or simply interesting clouds in the sky. It all just helps put things into perspective and never fails to make me feel calm, content, and happy.

What current fact about your life would most impress your five year old self?
That almost everyone I now know has more than one toilet in their house. I am not yet one of those people, but it gives me something to work towards!

Something you are grateful for?
The opportunity to contribute and make a positive impact on society.

What is your dream role?
Making a lasting impact that positively contributes to society that addresses challenges and opportunities in a holistic manner.

What’s your favourite flower or plant?
ALL OF THE PLANTS!!! But one of my all-time favourites are sunflowers because I love how bright they are and how they follow the sun.

What do you wish someone had told you after you graduated?
I wish someone would have explained to me that it’s common to be uncomfortable with the change in pace between university and work. After spending 10+ years in the education system where things have deadlines of days, weeks, and months, it took me a while to feel okay with things moving much slower. Typically, the projects I work on span months (sometimes even years and decades) which took a shift in perspective to still feel productive each day and a period of adjusting which I was not aware of when I graduated.

I cannot get through the day without…
Getting 10k steps. During the first COVID lockdown I got a Garmin to try and motivate me to keep active, since then I have got 10k steps a day and so I can’t imagine a day where I break the streak and don’t achieve it.

Three words your closest friends would use to describe you?
Zesty, driven (read: competitive), considerate.

Biggest career highlight/goal?
Landing a permanent ongoing position in a supportive and fun team contributing towards delivering sustainable and environmentally sensitive wastewater services for the South Australian community.

My goal for this year is…
Embedding sustainable self-care practices into my life. After all the turbulence of COVID it really highlighted the need to have something flexible yet reliable that I can lean on to ensure I am able to bring my best self to all aspects of my life.

What does your perfect breakfast look like?
My partner introduced me to his family Sunday Brunches which have set the bar for the perfect breakfast – not only is a breakfast with all the extras (think haloumi, hash browns and anything else that tickles your breakfast fancy), it also comes with a hot pot of tea, brilliant company and is always followed by a healthy dose of competitive card or board games.