Seymour Telegraph

Meet Sandra, the 22-yearold engineer kicking goals

- By Bianca Hall

Sandra Tran, 22, is already a chemical engineer championin­g STEM studies for young women.

In celebratio­n of Internatio­nal Youth Day, Ms Tran took the time to speak to The Telegraph about her journey to join Nestle’s Broadford team.

Ms Tran graduated from RMIT with a degree in chemical engineerin­g in 2022.

“It was pretty full-on; it was four years in total. Two years was under COVID... that was definitely difficult,” Ms Tran said.

“In my final year when I was able to come back on campus. I made friends and I was able to go into the lab. I was lucky that I was able to secure at least one year of hands-on learning.”

While finishing up her degree, Ms Tran began applying for graduate roles.

“At the time I wasn’t sure what field I wanted to go into,” she said.

“I did an internship at a gold mine and that led me to realise I do like being very hands-on and I thought that factory life would be suitable for me. I don’t see myself sitting behind a desk.

“I am quite a visual learner so it’s good that I can see the process up close and personal.”

Nestle graduates are exposed to different aspects of the business through four rotations across the two-year graduate program: engineerin­g, safety, quality and manufactur­ing excellence.

“When I first came here, I was part of the safety team. I think that was probably the most exciting, there was a whole range of people I had to work collaborat­ively with,” Ms Tran said.

“I will have exposure to another factory next year, I’m hoping for it to be Campbellfi­eld... I would like to move back to my roots of being a chemical engineer and also potentiall­y be a project engineer.

“I think being a project engineer I would get to see my work come to life in the factory. That would be really cool to see.”

As a young person, Ms Tran is still working out the perfect work-life balance.

“I do make sure I have a work-life balance by making sure I see my friends and family on the weekend and doing the sports I like as well,” she said.

“I really enjoy bouldering. I used to play tennis as well and I’m playing badminton this week. I like trying new sports. Treetop climbing is something I enjoy when I get the time to do it.

“Something else that as helped is that within my cohort of engineerin­g graduates we are quite close so it is nice to share our experience­s and be able to confide in each other. We have that extra few shoulders to lean on from people who get it.”

As part of the Nestle graduate program, graduates are paired up with a buddy. Ms Tran is lucky to have her

buddy in the same factory.

“Having that support around me has been very comforting... I have lunch with her practicall­y every day, informally,” she said.

“It’s good to lean on her for advice because she’s been in my shoes before.”

Ms Tran’s advice for other young women interested in the field of engineerin­g is simple: don’t be intimidate­d.

“Something I’m quite passionate about is encouragin­g young females to pursue STEM,” Ms Tran said.

“I want to say to young females ‘you are perfectly capable of that’.

“Whilst it may be hard to navigate, there is plenty of support you can receive while you are at uni. So give it a go.”

 ?? ?? A fresh face: Sandra Tran at the Allen’s factory, part of the Nestle facility in Broadford.
A fresh face: Sandra Tran at the Allen’s factory, part of the Nestle facility in Broadford.

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