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Alumni Sarah Quirk (2009)
Sarah Quirk (2009) is a materials reliability engineer at ExxonMobil’s Altona refinery, part of a team that looks after the integrity of every piece of equipment to ensure that no leaks take place.
"My specific role is quite broad," Sarah says. "It involves identifying specific vulnerabilities for equipment, carrying out risk assessments, and determining what is required to reduce the risk.
I also carry out root-cause analysis on our failures, improve our procedures, and look after longer-term projects that involve materials reliability."
Since being appointed to the job, Sarah has undergone intensive training, including a two-week shift on an offshore oilrig and a stint at Sale. "Hopefully I will get to go somewhere more exotic soon!" she says.
Sarah loves the specific work hours of her job. "Nights and weekends are great because I can go out and not worry about having to do uni work."
When it comes time to apply for a job, candidates should set out to create an impression, Sarah says.
"I believe a graduate should prove that they are well-rounded—they have good academic marks as well as an involvement in sports, music, part-time work and so on.
Confidence is a major factor—it proves you can act as a leader. Be confident and be yourself!"
Sarah says a graduate can also increase their employability by knowing something about the company to which they are applying.
She says that without a degree in materials engineering she would not have been appointed to her job at ExxonMobil.
"I would have little chance of being in the role I am now without a materials engineering degree," she says.
"My role here is very materials related, particularly involving corrosion and materials selection areas."
Her company’s graduate program is excellent, Sarah says.
"As soon as you arrive here you are treated just like any other engineer. There are no specific job rotations like many other jobs, which I found to be a positive.
The program involves a fair amount of training, which allows you to get to know the other graduates and employees while having a lot of fun!"