Updating Results

Urban Utilities

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Lauryn Patricia-Rose Critchley

I feel like I look back every day and can see how far I’ve come since my first day but also how much more I have to learn.

Where did you grow up?

I spent most of my childhood living near the sea on the Gold Coast. After finishing high school, I entered directly into my degree at Southern Cross University. I did my study online so that I was able to work and volunteer while getting my qualification. I worked at a family-owned bakery for eight years, which funded many holidays across Australia and abroad. My favorite destination would be Mount Tavurvur volcano in Papua New Guinea and Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

How did you get to your current job position?

I heard about Urban Utilities through people working in the water industry. I applied for the Graduate Program in early March 2019. From there I undertook a psychometric questionnaire and was invited to attend an assessment center. At the assessment centre, I worked with graduates from different backgrounds (science, finance, and data science) to complete various tasks as a team. We finished the day off with a short interview and tour of our Brisbane office. The tour was helpful as it gave us time to speak candidly with the Graduate showing us around, and find out his experiences in the role. The final stage was an in-depth interview with a  member of the Talent Acquisition team and my future manager which took place a few weeks after the assessment center.

How did you choose your specialisation?

I knew I wanted to work in the water industry, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Until I was in the industry it’s hard to know what all the options are. I tried to keep my specialisation broad and be involved in a little bit of everything.

What was your interview process like?

Looking back, I realize how amazing the interview process was and how supported we were. At the time I was incredibly nervous, but we were lucky enough to have a member from our Talent Acquisition team to guide us through every stage. 

The initial interview was a chance for the hiring staff to get to know me and an opportunity for me to learn more about the company. Most of the questions were general and focused on my personality and behaviors. The final interview was trickier and delved into my previous roles, work experience, and volunteer jobs. Both interviews felt very natural like having a conversation with a friend who wanted to know more about my skills and experiences. 

What does your employer do?

I work at Urban Utilities and we are a water, sewerage and recycled water service provider. We supply to Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, and Somerset in South East Queensland.

What are your areas of responsibility?

My current rotation is in the Insights Team within Infrastructure Maintenance. My own personal goal while in this role is to improve my GIS skills. My responsibility is to help analyze and understand data to update or improve our internal processes. This includes finding better ways to schedule our maintenance tasks, identifying high-risk assets and being involved in companywide projects.

Can you describe a typical workday?

One of the best things about this graduate program is I don’t have a “typical” day of work! I am involved in everything from hydraulic modeling of sewers to chlorine dosing investigations and forecasting maintenance work. Usually, you’ll find me at our Brisbane office but soon I will be based in our commercial laboratory. Recently we have been focused on drought initiatives so the last project I finished was an investigation of our water pressure zones and how we could better our leak detection program.

What are the career prospects with your job?

Over the course of two years, I will have experience in four different teams - the Network Planning, Infrastructure Maintenance, SAS Laboratories, and Environmental Compliance. I have also had the opportunity to join different programs and events such as our Innovation Community and the Young Water Professionals. I feel like I have gained enough skills and made a huge network of friends and colleagues to find another role at Urban Utilities when I complete this grad program.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I wasn’t in my current role I’d probably go into research. I love the idea of going back to do a PhD one day or other further studies. There is a huge amount of research going on at Urban Utilities all the time, so I may be able to combine that passion with my job! 

What do you love the most about your job?

I love the community at Urban Utilities. Even if you come to work in a bad mood there's a great group of people to make you feel good and I always go home feeling great about my day. I love that Urban Utilities actually does good in the community and we are passionate about the environment. My favorite tasks normally involve collaboration between teams. I love to meet new people and experience other parts of the company. 

What’s the biggest limitation of your job?

The hardest part of my job is simply that there is so much to learn. I feel like I look back every day and can see how far I’ve come since my first day but also how much more I have to learn.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?
My only advice to current university students is to get involved and put yourself out there. There are plenty of opportunities in societies on campus and volunteering in the community to grow and learn but also to have fun and network.