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Tahlia McCarthy

from Bakery Worker to Graduate Engineer
I am helping build a road
Construction and infrastructure
Job Level
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Ask me about

  • Why a career in construction is so fun
  • What engineering actually is
  • What to do when you’re unsure about your career after school

About me

I am a Graduate Engineer in Civil Construction. When I was in high school, I was so unsure of what I wanted to do, I circled through about 30 different ‘dream jobs’ but in hindsight none of them were actually my dream.

I loved maths and science in school and my mum suggested I should study engineering as problem solving is one of my strong suits. I had no better ideas so I applied and was accepted into Civil Engineering at RMIT University.

I wasn’t 100% sold on engineering as the course was very heavy on design but once I reached my third year, I landed an undergraduate position with BMD Constructions and I fell in love with construction.

About my role

  • Analytical
  • Curious
  • Independent
  • Reliable
  • Sociable

A day in the life of a Graduate Engineer in construction looks almost completely different each day.

Pre-start meetings with the whole job site are the beginning of every morning. There are several diverse tasks that are completed regularly:

  • booking in subcontractors to undertake works
  • tracking day-to-day costs
  • forecasting costs to complete the job
  • completing quality assurance on works being completed
  • ensuring safety compliance on site
  • programming works to come
  • arranging for materials to be on site to complete works
  • supporting the supervisors
Students Book Here Educators Book Here


  • High School Certificate
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure)


  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • General Mathematics (Maths A)
  • Mathematical Methods (Maths B)


  • NAWIC Young Achiever of the Year Nominee 2023
  • NAWIC Student, Apprentice or Trainee Nominee 2022


  • Cooking
  • Pilates
  • Seeing family and friends
  • Travel


  • 2 Dog

15 year old me!!

“Don’t stress about where you will end up, continue studying what you enjoy and you will figure it out!”

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Finished VCE (high school certificate)
  2. Started studying Engineering
  3. Landed Undergraduate Position at BMD
  4. Graduated university
  5. Started Graduate Program with BMD

My employer

BMD is a national group of companies engaged in engineering design, construction and land development for clients and partners in the urban development, transport infrastructure and resources and energy sectors. Since 1979, BMD has employed a relationship based business model founded on certainty, collaboration and performance. With approximately 1700 staff throughout Australia, BMD has the resources and experience to deliver projects ranging in size from $1 million to over $1 billion.