Home » Podcast » Heimy Molina – Female Empowerment in STEM

Heimy Molina – Female Empowerment in STEM


In this week’s episode, Josh chats with Heimy Molina, a committee member for Young Engineers Australia who was a Finalist of the Western Sydney University Academic Achievement Award in the 2023 7News Young Achiever Awards – NSW/ ACT.


Heimy Molinacompleted her Engineering (Honours) with a First-Class Honours Award and University Medal, majoring in Civil Engineering. She is a consistent Dean’s Merit Lister and awardee of the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Women in STEM Education Champion, and Emerging Designer of the Year. Heimy is a committee member for Young Engineers Australia and has been featured in talks (in schools and universities) seminars, podcasts, articles, and panels to talk about female empowerment in STEM.


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[00:00:08] Inspiring Australians Podcast

[00:04:55] The Mix Between Technical Know How and People Person

[00:07:05] I Don’t Know If I’ll Study Or Not

[00:09:57] Food – I Believe Food

[00:10:21] What Was It Like Being a Student at Western Sydney University?

[00:16:22] Covid – A Year Two and Three of Uni

[00:18:26] Say Yes to Any Opportunity

[00:18:56] Courage Is Acting Despite of Me

[00:21:04] Building Brick by Brick – It’s So Beautiful

[00:22:36] Find the Opportunities That Are Meant For Me

[00:26:00] The Impact Engineers Have on the World

[00:26:17] Life is a Lifelong Learning Journey

[00:28:43] The Environment – Why Are Other People Doing Great Things?

[00:30:59] Personal Branding – Is It a Good Idea?

[00:33:27] Personal Branding in a Genuine Way

[00:35:23] Having a Great Support System is One of the Main Things That Got Me to Where I Am Right Now

[00:36:41] Young Engineers – What’s Your Experience Like?

[00:40:37] The Inspiration to Australians Podcast

[00:45:22] The Podcast Is What She Thinks



[00:00:58] Speaker 2

Hello and welcome to the inspirational australian’s podcast where we chat with young and not so young people sometimes as well. To hear about their journeys, find out a bit more about their stories and gives us a chance to dive in a little bit deeper to the many amazing people that we get to meet and profile through our awards programs here at awards, Australia. So if you don’t know,  we are up right, the community achievement awards and also the seven years young achieved rewards programs. And today’s guest for this weekly dose of inspiration is jaimee Molina who is a twenty twenty three finalist in the Western Sydney University academic achievement award. And she also was the winner in the same year of the official coffee people’s choice award. A lot of people are familiar with people’s choice,  but for those who don’t know, it’s basically a chance to bring in the community to bring in people from the less supporting networks to get involved and vote on who they think should win. And it’s our only award program that isn’t judged by the judging panel. So it’s a really nice way to bring in that support network, bring in the community, give them a chance to get involved. And Jamie smashed that one. We’ll talk a bit more about it as we get into it, so I’ll introduce today’s guest. Amy Molina completed her engineering honors with a first class Honours award and University medal, majoring in civil engineering. She is a consistent Dean’s merit Lister,  an awardee of the vice-chancellor’s excellence award, women in STEM education champion and emerging designer of the year. Amy is a committee member for young engineers, Australia, and has been featured in talks in schools and universities, seminars, podcasts,  articles, and panels to talk about female empowerment in STEM. So thanks for joining us today.  Amy, how you doing?

[00:02:51] Speaker 1

Josh?  Hello, everyone,  thanks for having me.

[00:02:54] Speaker 2

So this isn’t your first podcast then. What have other kind of podcasts have you appeared on?

[00:03:00] Speaker 1

I was in another podcast. I think it was deconstructing you podcast, which is

[00:03:05] Speaker 1

a podcast that features people in construction and in fields that they excel pretty much.

[00:03:13] Speaker 2

Yeah, cool. So you know, it’s a good place to start talking about construction. And obviously we’ll get to your

[00:03:20] Speaker 2

career and all the background,  but I’m interested to know what got you interested in construction in the first

[00:03:26] Speaker 2

place. When you think about kids playing with their Tonka trucks and things like

[00:03:31] Speaker 2

that, did it start there or somewhere else?

[00:03:34] Speaker 1

Well actually I was one of those type of kids that didn’t know what they wanted to

[00:03:38] Speaker 1

  1. So I wanted to be a police officer, a teacher, nurse, doctor name it,

[00:03:44] Speaker 1

I dreamt of it. So it started in year twelve and I was in

[00:03:48] Speaker 1

a drafting class and I saw how things are developed from scratch. And that gave me

[00:03:55] Speaker 1

a really rewarding feeling. And whenever I did assessments for that unit,

[00:03:59] Speaker 1

I didn’t feel like it was hard work. I really enjoyed it. And slowly,

[00:04:05] Speaker 1

then I found my passion. And I had this recurring joke where I say, Oh,

[00:04:11] Speaker 1

I found engineering as my career because I love building things. But I love

[00:04:17] Speaker 1

ordering other people to do that for me, even more. But jokes aside, it’s just,

[00:04:24] Speaker 1

I just saw the impact of buildings, of transport, of anything else,

[00:04:30] Speaker 1

big or small that you build to the community. And that rewarding feeling. Stayed

[00:04:36] Speaker 1

with me. And I think that’s why I just pursued engineering and construction.

[00:04:40] Speaker 2


[00:04:41] Speaker 2

it’s, I think it’s a good skill to actually be good at ordering people to build things for you.

[00:04:46] Speaker 2

Because it’s not always easy, you know,

[00:04:48] Speaker 2

delegating work or explaining what needs to be done. So that in itself is a real skill.

[00:04:54] Speaker 1

Yeah,  definitely.

[00:04:55] Speaker 1

I think I really enjoyed the mix between the technical know how and the

[00:04:59] Speaker 1

staff skills because I love communicating on people person. And what is I mean here?

[00:05:06] Speaker 1

But yeah, I think it was

[00:05:07] Speaker 1

a great mix of that and just dealing with people I love dealing with people and

[00:05:12] Speaker 1

management as big as that term is it’s, it’s

[00:05:16] Speaker 1

a wonderful job because even though you have such a big responsibility at the end,

[00:05:20] Speaker 1

you can see the fruits of your labor and like I said earlier,  it’s very rewarding.

[00:05:27] Speaker 2

And there is something to be said as well about that whole,  you know,

[00:05:30] Speaker 2

you design something from the Start and then seeing that through to being completed is a really rewarding feeling.

[00:05:38] Speaker 1

Yeah it’s,  it’s amazing and it just doesn’t stop there. It’s what happens after it’s built,

[00:05:44] Speaker 1

the people that it puts smiles on their faces on it’s the communities that it’s

[00:05:49] Speaker 1

helping the economies that it’s developing it’s,  it’s priceless and the possibilities of it having

[00:05:58] Speaker 1

a good impact are endless. So yeah, I think I really enjoyed that bit.

[00:06:03] Speaker 2

So Amy,  you mentioned you, were you in high school where, where was that for you?

[00:06:09] Speaker 1

There. I was born and raised in the Philippines and studied there until you’re

[00:06:14] Speaker 1

twelve and went to Australia in twenty nineteen to pursue my engineering degree.

[00:06:20] Speaker 2

Yeah. So, you know, obviously having not been through that situation myself,

[00:06:25] Speaker 2

what is it, you know, from, from your perspective, you know,

[00:06:27] Speaker 2

being in the Philippines that led you to want to study abroad rather than study in the Philippines.

[00:06:34] Speaker 1

Philippines is a very beautiful country. However, it’s a developing country,

[00:06:38] Speaker 1

so it definitely needs room for some improvement. And ever since I was a kid,

[00:06:44] Speaker 1

I’ve already realised that. And I’ve always had a dream of moving to

[00:06:48] Speaker 1

a different country and pursuing my studies there. Mostly because of the

[00:06:55] Speaker 1

economic state of the Philippines as well as I just love being in a different place,

[00:06:59] Speaker 1

seeking out independence and immersing in the culture new things. I’m really up for

[00:07:04] Speaker 1

that stuff.

[00:07:05] Speaker 1

So when my dad asks me to study,  and if I was okay with that,

[00:07:12] Speaker 1

I didn’t even try. I didn’t even think about it. I was like, yes,

[00:07:15] Speaker 1

of course. And I think that’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life

[00:07:19] Speaker 1

because it made me the person who I am today. And. Yeah,  I never looked back ever since.

[00:07:26] Speaker 2

Yeah,  so it sounds like your parents are super supportive of it. You know,

[00:07:29] Speaker 2

I’ve heard the flipside as well where they a bit worried about what they’re,  you know,

[00:07:32] Speaker 2

the little one to leave the nest. So that was an easy decision for everyone. Was it?

[00:07:39] Speaker 1

They’re definitely a hard one for my parents until now. Because before my graduation April, this year,

[00:07:46] Speaker 1

I haven’t seen my parents for four years. And that was,

[00:07:50] Speaker 1

that was very hard for everyone as well as my other family members and extended

[00:07:55] Speaker 1

family members. Like until now I haven’t seen my relatives ever since I flew out.

[00:08:00] Speaker 1

It’s definitely hard and it’s definitely a sacrifice. Yeah. But sometimes for me to get to the other thing or

[00:08:09] Speaker 1

the next thing or the bigger thing,

[00:08:11] Speaker 1

you have to sacrifice something so you need to choose which ones you need to sacrifice.

[00:08:18] Speaker 2

Yeah,  right. So that will sound quite tough and I flew over here for the graduation. Is

[00:08:22] Speaker 2

that what you’re saying?

[00:08:24] Speaker 1

Yes,  and that was my seven grace. I’ve seen them and that was like just the most amazing

[00:08:28] Speaker 1

reunion I can ever ask for. I’m very grateful.

[00:08:32] Speaker 2

That’s cool. What did they like the most about? Australia

[00:08:37] Speaker 1

are definitely the weather because the Philippines is just so bohemian and hot. Twenty four seven,

[00:08:43] Speaker 1

or if it’s not it’s humid and rainy. So they just loved autumn in here and they

[00:08:50] Speaker 1

wish they Stayed until it was wintertime because they really do love the cold and it’s just Australia,

[00:08:57] Speaker 1

the country is so open and so welcoming and so culturally diverse,

[00:09:03] Speaker 1

so they didn’t feel so out of place, even though they haven’t been here in a while,

[00:09:07] Speaker 1

so I think it felt like a second home to them. More than all we’re just visiting another country

[00:09:14] Speaker 2

you have as good as Sydney have new South Wales have a big you know,  Filipino community.

[00:09:22] Speaker 1

Ah yes,  definitely. Especially in the Western areas, as

[00:09:27] Speaker 1

you can definitely tell because there’s businesses and you can see that they’re

[00:09:32] Speaker 1

owned by a few ladies, which is amazing because when I feel homesick,

[00:09:35] Speaker 1

I just go nearby and buy myself some filler food or filler goodies. And that

[00:09:42] Speaker 1

usually cure the homesickness, but if it’s really bad, I’ll face time,  my family and hope for the best.

[00:09:49] Speaker 2

Well, I’m a banh Mi fiend,

[00:09:51] Speaker 2

and if any time I haven’t brought my own lunch to the office and I need to buy it,

[00:09:55] Speaker 2

it’s like the number one thing I’m getting.

[00:09:57] Speaker 2

But what’s, you know,  a good tip for some,

[00:10:00] Speaker 2

some other kind of great food that I should be trying.

[00:10:04] Speaker 1

I believe food. I just a lot of dairy on it,

[00:10:09] Speaker 1

but you should definitely try the feel of barbecue it’s. It’s actually very trendy

[00:10:15] Speaker 1

now. I’m so surprised because you don’t really think of it

[00:10:19] Speaker 1

a food right away when you think of international foods.

[00:10:21] Speaker 1

I’m glad that the food

[00:10:24] Speaker 1

aspect of things is slowly going into popularity. So killer barbecue is

[00:10:30] Speaker 1

definitely a must try with rice. And yeah, you know, once you’ve done that,  I’m pretty well like it.

[00:10:39] Speaker 2

So yeah, you mentioned, you know,  being in the Western suburbs and things like that. And obviously you joined Western

[00:10:44] Speaker 2

Sydney University to, to start your University studies. What was it like, you know,

[00:10:50] Speaker 2

as being such a young person moving abroad to a different country on your own,

[00:10:54] Speaker 2

without that family support next to you and,  and getting settled and getting into your studies.

[00:11:02] Speaker 1

It was very hard because the adjustment was simultaneous for me,

[00:11:06] Speaker 1

the adjustment from going from high school to Uni, to

[00:11:09] Speaker 1

a country where they don’t speak my first language to a new country to

[00:11:15] Speaker 1

a house that my parents or my main family aren’t residing in. It was just

[00:11:21] Speaker 1

a lot and it was very much overwhelming. And I know it can be really tempting to

[00:11:26] Speaker 1

just succumb to the overwhelming factor of all of those things. But trust me when I

[00:11:31] Speaker 1

say that once you tell yourself that you can do it,

[00:11:35] Speaker 1

you’ll just keep doing it like you just need that starting point. And once you take that first step,

[00:11:40] Speaker 1

you don’t even know you keep taking little steps each day until you’ve already

[00:11:44] Speaker 1

basically gone through the whole staircase and you look down and you’re like, wow,

[00:11:50] Speaker 1

I’ve come this far. And I think that’s what kept me going aside from thinking of my family,

[00:11:55] Speaker 1

of like of course they put all their military and their effort in their time for me

[00:12:02] Speaker 1

to pursue my career in here. And yeah,

[00:12:06] Speaker 1

and I think what actually one really useful tip that I can give international

[00:12:11] Speaker 1

students, especially ones that are struggling with English,

[00:12:14] Speaker 1

is try to befriend basically everyone because I know that some fellows come in

[00:12:21] Speaker 1

and they try to find the Philippines,  the other village in the area which is understandable because that gives you

[00:12:27] Speaker 1

a sense of home,  but I think people should be open into befriending other nationalities as well. And

[00:12:34] Speaker 1

that’s what I did. And we all,

[00:12:36] Speaker 1

we only knew how to speak English to each other. Of course I was taught to speak

[00:12:40] Speaker 1

English and that actually really helped. And I became fluent in English and

[00:12:45] Speaker 1

actually became comfortable in conversing and putting myself out there.

[00:12:50] Speaker 2

So it’s a few things I want to ask you about that that’s such

[00:12:53] Speaker 2

a good. Some good tips and everything, but you mentioned that you weren’t fluent,

[00:12:58] Speaker 2

you sound absolutely fluent in English like amazing English right now. So was that

[00:13:04] Speaker 2

not the case when you moved in twenty nineteen.

[00:13:07] Speaker 1

Oh,  thanks for that. That’s great. But no, I knew a couple of,  I guess how should I say this?

[00:13:17] Speaker 1

I think I was good in English, but not proficient enough that in

[00:13:23] Speaker 1

a formal setting it would be accepted. Yeah,

[00:13:26] Speaker 1

I was great in like informal English and like more of a casual,

[00:13:30] Speaker 1

conversational type. But once you put me in a formal setting with like reports and assessments and stuff,

[00:13:37] Speaker 1

I kind of struggled because I only knew the basics. And yeah,

[00:13:41] Speaker 1

that’s when I realized that I shouldn’t just be adjusting in the

[00:13:47] Speaker 1

lifestyle and the culture. I should also be adjusting in the language. And yeah,

[00:13:54] Speaker 1

and I think because I just had that urge to improve,

[00:13:58] Speaker 1

then that kind of helped me try and find ways and how to improve like that tip that I said,

[00:14:04] Speaker 2

yeah, well yeah, it was

[00:14:05] Speaker 2

a good tip in terms of how I was actually going to ask you something like that,

[00:14:09] Speaker 2

so it’s awesome that you beat me to the punch. But it must be quite daunting. You

[00:14:13] Speaker 2

know, as you were saying it and you described it so well. What was, you know,

[00:14:18] Speaker 2

you still connected with those people that you met?  When you were first moving here and making new friends,

[00:14:25] Speaker 1

Oh yes, yes. We still have

[00:14:27] Speaker 1

a group chat on Facebook and we see each other every now and then it’s much harder

[00:14:32] Speaker 1

than it used to be because now we’re not in Uni and everyone is working and you

[00:14:38] Speaker 1

have to do a poll each time. I’m on a date

[00:14:41] Speaker 1

. Yeah. You have to like books and stuff,  but other than that, yeah. I’ve kept those connections. And yeah,

[00:14:50] Speaker 1

I do remember the first person I tried to talk to that I felt like I was just going

[00:14:54] Speaker 1

to swallow my own stomach. I don’t talk to them anymore. Unfortunately because we

[00:15:01] Speaker 1

ended up befriending different circles and I think he went to

[00:15:05] Speaker 1

a different course and yeah, I still remember that I just,

[00:15:10] Speaker 1

I just felt like I was having cold sweats like the moment leading up to it. And

[00:15:14] Speaker 1

then I was just like, no, no, no, no,

[00:15:16] Speaker 1

it’s fine. I’ll just do it. And then once I’ve done it,

[00:15:20] Speaker 1

I know that that’s all I needed to keep going. And yeah,

[00:15:24] Speaker 1

that’s exactly what happened. The first word I was like stuttering and was shaky.

[00:15:28] Speaker 1

But afterwards, when he responded and I responded back,

[00:15:31] Speaker 1

little did I know we’ve already been chatting for twenty minutes and I just used

[00:15:36] Speaker 1

that instance for different turning points in my life. Whenever I feel scared,  I’ll just jump

[00:15:42] Speaker 2

pretty much. Yeah.

[00:15:43] Speaker 1

And yeah,

[00:15:44] Speaker 2

that was from chatting to you for this short time. I can see that that’s like your

[00:15:47] Speaker 2

one of your personal mottos, just leap into it. Give it a go.

[00:15:52] Speaker 1

Yeah. Who knows?  Because another one, a person’s rejection can be

[00:15:58] Speaker 1

a redirection. And I believe that life is like twenty percent. What happens to you and eighty percent,

[00:16:03] Speaker 1

how you react to it. So everything is pretty much under your control if you think

[00:16:07] Speaker 1

of it that way. And that’s just what kept me going with the whole adjustment period

[00:16:11] Speaker 1

of being here. And I guess that’s what made it less daunting. Is thinking that,

[00:16:15] Speaker 1

Oh yeah, I can control things. But if they slip out of my control,

[00:16:20] Speaker 1

then I can’t really do much about it.

[00:16:22] Speaker 1

Right, so yeah,

[00:16:23] Speaker 1

why worry about it worry about the things that you can control?

[00:16:27] Speaker 2

Yeah. So you’re in Sydney, Western Sydney,

[00:16:30] Speaker 2

you’ve made some new friends. I’m assuming as well. Let’s hope it kind of hits somewhere around this time.

[00:16:41] Speaker 1

Yeah,  so my year two and three of Uni was definitely online because of covid.

[00:16:48] Speaker 1

And I think that was one of the lowest points in my life because I couldn’t see my

[00:16:55] Speaker 1

family. It’s covid. I couldn’t see my friends. It was just me and my sister in

[00:17:00] Speaker 1

a tiny little apartment and we can’t go anywhere. I felt very much isolated and I just,

[00:17:09] Speaker 1

I was just really stressful about everything. And it made me rethink about everything. Have an essential crisis. And yeah,

[00:17:19] Speaker 1

I think that was the really low point in my life. And that’s when I started reading

[00:17:24] Speaker 1

more books, listening to more podcasts about motivation, inspiration,

[00:17:29] Speaker 1

other people who’ve had struggles and didn’t quit. And that’s how I slowly

[00:17:33] Speaker 1

developed this. I guess the mantras that I have right now and, yeah,

[00:17:40] Speaker 1

and I just took courage and everything said yes to everything. And then little by little,

[00:17:45] Speaker 1

the lockdown lifted off and then little by little things that I said yes to amounted

[00:17:50] Speaker 1

to something, even bigger that they offered. And yeah,  I never just stopped saying Yes after that.

[00:17:59] Speaker 2

Very good. It’s. I’ve heard that as well. One of my favorite episodes I’ve ever recorded of the inspirational podcast

[00:18:06] Speaker 2

inspirational shane’s podcast. I should note the episode number,

[00:18:08] Speaker 2

but if you want to search it up, it’s Amy Hetherington, she’s

[00:18:11] Speaker 2

a Darwin based comedian. And she moved to Darwin in a, you know,

[00:18:18] Speaker 2

not a similar circumstances to you, Amy, but she was new,

[00:18:21] Speaker 2

completely to the community. And so she was just, you know,

[00:18:25] Speaker 2

it’s reminding me of what you were saying.

[00:18:26] Speaker 2

She was kind of just talk to everyone

[00:18:29] Speaker 2

and see what happens and see where connections might grow. Say yes to any

[00:18:33] Speaker 2

opportunity. And it’s so powerful to to do that because yes,  you’re putting yourself out there. But as you said,

[00:18:41] Speaker 2

I love that about eighty percent of life is how you respond to it. So you know,

[00:18:47] Speaker 2

you say yes to it and then you never know what will happen,  how you might react to that situation.

[00:18:52] Speaker 1

Yeah, it takes a lot of courage to definitely take the first step.

[00:18:56] Speaker 1

And that’s also one of the

[00:18:58] Speaker 1

things I realized that I thought courageous people had no fear. And that’s,

[00:19:03] Speaker 1

I guess that’s why I was feeling a bit isolated and covered because I was like, Oh,

[00:19:07] Speaker 1

I’m already like drowning in fear. I can’t move up from this. I feel so suffocated.

[00:19:12] Speaker 1

But after some realization and research and reading and self-reflection,

[00:19:18] Speaker 1

I realized that courage is acting despite of me. So when I realized that I was

[00:19:25] Speaker 1

like it hit me, Oh,  I can actually be courageous and take the first step I can actually be courageous

[00:19:33] Speaker 1

and say yes to this thing and say yes to this thing and then yeah,

[00:19:36] Speaker 1

it just snowballed from there. I like,

[00:19:40] Speaker 1

I think once I take the first step I just keep going. So it’s just that moment

[00:19:46] Speaker 1

leading to the first step is always the hardest for me. And with that courage of

[00:19:53] Speaker 1

like I think so with that mantra that I have of having courage,

[00:20:00] Speaker 1

despite of the fear is what kept me going.

[00:20:04] Speaker 2

You’ve got some great little mantras and sayings. Have you got any little, you know,

[00:20:09] Speaker 2

inspirational quotes around the house or around anything like that because I got some good ones?

[00:20:18] Speaker 1

Yes. Like a walking Pinterest board. But I do have,

[00:20:23] Speaker 1

I do have two. One of them is, remember who you are,

[00:20:28] Speaker 1

which I actually created like an artwork and just put it on my wall. It’s for my

[00:20:34] Speaker 1

method of self doubt, the imposter syndrome,

[00:20:37] Speaker 1

and everything like that. That’s where I go to. And the next one I made myself,

[00:20:42] Speaker 1

which is if you want to build a perfect wall,

[00:20:45] Speaker 1

you should build it brick by brick. And I have that mantra in every little thing

[00:20:50] Speaker 1

that I do. Because whenever things seem daunting,

[00:20:53] Speaker 1

it’s probably because I’m looking at the bigger picture. So I just look at the

[00:20:57] Speaker 1

first step, the smaller picture. And then once I overcome that,

[00:21:01] Speaker 1

I do the next one and I do the next one

[00:21:02] Speaker 1

and next one.

[00:21:04] Speaker 1

And then I build my wall,

[00:21:05] Speaker 1

so I use those two every day and they keep me going and even at my lowest applies,

[00:21:13] Speaker 1

I’ve hung on to them and they’re very effective.

[00:21:17] Speaker 2

Well that is a beautiful saying for an especially with the symmetry of your career in

[00:21:22] Speaker 2

construction building brick by brick. It’s. It’s so lovely. So tell me

[00:21:28] Speaker 2

a bit about finishing University getting into your career as a woman in engineering and construction

[00:21:38] Speaker 1

it was definitely hard because for women,

[00:21:41] Speaker 1

you have to work twice as much for most stuff. So this wasn’t any exemption. And

[00:21:47] Speaker 1

aside from that, I had the other thing going,  which is being an international student,

[00:21:53] Speaker 1

because most companies actually actively say that they don’t take international

[00:21:57] Speaker 1

students, which I, I totally understand some of the reasons,

[00:22:02] Speaker 1

but of course I felt upset. And I felt like the world was turning against me

[00:22:07] Speaker 1

because there’s just so many things that all you can do this but, but, but,  but like I said,

[00:22:12] Speaker 1

another person’s rejection is another person’s redirection. So I just kept on going,

[00:22:18] Speaker 1

I just kept applying. And basically every company that I hear of,

[00:22:22] Speaker 1

and I realized that I felt like I was just chasing nothing. So that’s how I

[00:22:30] Speaker 1

kind of built up this mindset that I have right now and as well as my personal

[00:22:35] Speaker 1


[00:22:36] Speaker 1

And everything else is just because probably the reason why I’m not finding

[00:22:42] Speaker 1

a job is because I’m not attracting it because I am not it yet. So I basically

[00:22:48] Speaker 1

developed myself and one thing led to another. The job that was meant for this version of myself came on,

[00:22:55] Speaker 1

and then I think just redirecting reframing things in life,  has helped me become really like a developed person,

[00:23:04] Speaker 1

as well as by the career paths. Find the opportunities that are meant for me and

[00:23:11] Speaker 1

things that I really want.

[00:23:13] Speaker 2

It was,  it sounds quite resilient to not let those setbacks, you know,

[00:23:16] Speaker 2

really impact you and, and get you down because it’s not easy to keep, you know,

[00:23:21] Speaker 2

being tenacious and keep chasing it. So that’s hard.

[00:23:26] Speaker 1

Yeah,  definitely. And I think that’s one of the things that Filipinos and reinforce that

[00:23:31] Speaker 1

I’m really glad that’s one of the things that I put in my backpack and took him

[00:23:35] Speaker 1

because yes, it takes a lot of resilience. And

[00:23:40] Speaker 1

a lot of courage to accept rejection. So Kudos to you if you accept rejection wholeheartedly because that takes courage.

[00:23:50] Speaker 2

Definitely. So yeah, it’s a really good point you made because I hadn’t even considered that. Being an

[00:23:56] Speaker 2

international student is already a barrier to employment. And then, you know,

[00:24:01] Speaker 2

as we discussed before, you know, being as a woman in a male dominated field,

[00:24:06] Speaker 2

you have to work twice as hard anyway,  so people get to work three times as hard as

[00:24:09] Speaker 2

a lot of people. But do you feel that it was that was different that helped you

[00:24:16] Speaker 2

finally break through and get into the industry?

[00:24:24] Speaker 1

It’s a lot of self-development because I think my mindset while I was applying for the

[00:24:29] Speaker 1

jobs is all, what can they give?

[00:24:31] Speaker 1

What can the company give me in terms of learning experience and job experience and

[00:24:36] Speaker 1

everything else? I was thinking of it being like a two way street,  I guess because I was in like

[00:24:42] Speaker 1

a closed minded perspective is why I wasn’t getting what I thought I needed to get

[00:24:47] Speaker 1

at the time. And once I realized that it’s to

[00:24:51] Speaker 1

a straight and I have to give them something is when I started diving into

[00:24:56] Speaker 1

self-development. And like I said earlier,  personal branding. And just putting myself out there and I realized that you don’t

[00:25:03] Speaker 1

have to know everything to get to engineering or the job that I wanted. It’s as

[00:25:09] Speaker 1

long as you’re keen to learn,

[00:25:11] Speaker 1

that’s all they need. So I definitely showed how keen I was my enthusiasm and my

[00:25:17] Speaker 1

passion towards engineering. And once I did show the world that they understood,  and I attracted a job,

[00:25:27] Speaker 1

a career path that I really wanted. So you are what you attract. And I guess that’s

[00:25:32] Speaker 1

why I wasn’t attracting much when I started because I didn’t feel as good as I do

[00:25:39] Speaker 1

about myself as I am right now.

[00:25:42] Speaker 2

And so How’s it going?  How long have you been working now? Your current employer?

[00:25:48] Speaker 1

So it’s nine months I believe because I started here in January twenty,  twenty three and yeah,

[00:25:57] Speaker 1

it’s just amazing. And I keep learning new things every day.

[00:26:00] Speaker 1

And I didn’t know how

[00:26:02] Speaker 1

much impact engineers actually put on the world until I came to the industry. And yeah, it’s just,

[00:26:12] Speaker 1

everyone is keen to learn. Everyone says all we don’t know everything.

[00:26:17] Speaker 1

And that

[00:26:17] Speaker 1

guarantee actually was very comforting that we’re on the same journey just in different levels. And the dumbest question is,

[00:26:25] Speaker 1

the one that’s left in US. So keep asking questions, keep learning because life is

[00:26:29] Speaker 1

a lifelong learning journey. So don’t be

[00:26:33] Speaker 1

a shame if you don’t know it and you need to learn it. That just means you’re

[00:26:36] Speaker 1

accepting that you know it and you’re accepting self-development. So that little

[00:26:41] Speaker 1

perspective change helped me in dealing with problems with mistakes and daily tasks to work. So yeah,

[00:26:48] Speaker 1

I think work aside from developing my career has helped my personal development as well.

[00:26:54] Speaker 2

And what’s the best thing about working in construction and engineering?

[00:27:00] Speaker 1

My manager actually said that engineers take

[00:27:05] Speaker 1

a bunch of things that don’t make sense individually and they combine them and make this thing that makes sense,

[00:27:12] Speaker 1

that benefits the community. And I think that’s the best thing about being an engineer,

[00:27:17] Speaker 1

because at first I can encapsulate what engineers do. Like even when I was at Uni,

[00:27:22] Speaker 1

I actually don’t know what engineers do, but I have

[00:27:24] Speaker 1

a vague idea and I kind of like that vague idea. But when she put it that way,

[00:27:28] Speaker 1

I was like, yes, that’s exactly it. Because coming back to my first responses,

[00:27:34] Speaker 1

I said that I just, I just felt like it’s such a rewarding feeling to make

[00:27:39] Speaker 1

a huge positive impact to the community,  to everyone else other than yourself. And just that perspective of engineering. The

[00:27:48] Speaker 1

creative side of yourself plus the side that you’re helping with the community is

[00:27:54] Speaker 1

what kept me in this industry. And what got me into loving this job,

[00:27:59] Speaker 1

which I can’t wait to do forever.

[00:28:04] Speaker 2

Is it, um have you had any,  you know, setbacks or I guess negative experiences in the industry as well?

[00:28:13] Speaker 2

Or has it been you know, really positive. You

[00:28:17] Speaker 1

know,  the biggest struggle and roadblocks that I’ve had in the field was,

[00:28:24] Speaker 1

I guess probably the, the people telling me that I couldn’t do it because a, I was

[00:28:30] Speaker 1

a female B, I was international and C. I was

[00:28:33] Speaker 1

a newbie and I didn’t know anything about the industry. And there’s

[00:28:38] Speaker 1

a couple of people who thought of that and I guess little by little they kind of

[00:28:42] Speaker 1

piled up.

[00:28:43] Speaker 1

And at first I felt very defeated because the words were getting to me and it was,

[00:28:51] Speaker 1

it was really degrading. And I guess I couldn’t help,

[00:28:56] Speaker 1

but let the environment kind of dictate how I felt. And when I realized that

[00:29:03] Speaker 1

there’s just so many negative things in the environment,  why are other people still doing great things?

[00:29:08] Speaker 1

How come they managed to overcome these roadblocks,  even though these people kept saying negative things about them,

[00:29:15] Speaker 1

like celebrities or people we see on the news. And yeah,

[00:29:19] Speaker 1

that’s when I realized that No matter what you do, good or bad,

[00:29:22] Speaker 1

people will say something about you. So you probably shouldn’t rely on what other

[00:29:27] Speaker 1

people are talking about you or thinking about you because you have the power to

[00:29:35] Speaker 1

let yourself shine. I guess you have the power to let yourself develop. You have

[00:29:41] Speaker 1

the power to let yourself be either demeaned by this or use it as

[00:29:47] Speaker 1

a motivational aspect of your life. And when I thought it like that every time

[00:29:52] Speaker 1

there’s a negative thing that’s coming or that came through,

[00:29:55] Speaker 1

I will get the constructive feedback out of it and use that to develop myself and

[00:30:01] Speaker 1

then the rest apologies Chuck,  because you’re not the one that’s driving my car you’re not the one that’s driving

[00:30:09] Speaker 1

my pot to where I want it to go,

[00:30:11] Speaker 1

so I won’t use any of the bad things that you’ve said,  but I will get the feedback. And yeah,

[00:30:18] Speaker 1

and I guess that’s what most of the roadblocks I face on a daily basis and how I overcome them.

[00:30:25] Speaker 2

Yeah, well that’s again,  great feedback and advice because, you know, I’m

[00:30:29] Speaker 2

a people pleaser myself. So sometimes if someone’s got something negative to say

[00:30:34] Speaker 2

about me or work that I’ve done, you know, I find it really difficult, but that’s

[00:30:38] Speaker 2

a really good approach to. Okay, well, what’s the constructive part?

[00:30:42] Speaker 2

I can take from that if there is some and then if not,  like you said Chuck out the rest,

[00:30:47] Speaker 2

believe in yourself back yourself and go for it.

[00:30:51] Speaker 1

Yeah, I totally agree. I was a people pleaser ever since I was

[00:30:55] Speaker 1

a kid so I can totally resonate with what you just said.

[00:30:59] Speaker 1

But yeah, I just,

[00:31:01] Speaker 1

I just put this imaginary filter and I just always have it on so that No matter

[00:31:06] Speaker 1

what life goes at me, I’ll get what I can use from it. And then the rest,

[00:31:11] Speaker 1

I won’t dwell on it at all because it will just give me stress and worry and

[00:31:15] Speaker 1

nothing good would come out of it. So why would I let it stay in my life?

[00:31:19] Speaker 2

So true, I liked what you said earlier as well about, you know,

[00:31:22] Speaker 2

using personal branding as part of your way to, I guess,

[00:31:26] Speaker 2

further your career and things like that. And I think sometimes personal branding is one of those things that’s

[00:31:31] Speaker 2

a little bit misunderstood. Perhaps people might associate it with, you know,

[00:31:35] Speaker 2

goading yourself and I couldn’t disagree with that any more. So I’m interested to

[00:31:40] Speaker 2

know, you know, it was part of your personal

[00:31:43] Speaker 2

branding kind of a, I guess, mindset,  you know, being part of the young achiever awards. And, you know,

[00:31:50] Speaker 2

I guess the second part of that question is,  how was your experience being part of the awards?

[00:31:56] Speaker 1

Now I think personal branding is the thing that people don’t really invest in until they see someone with

[00:32:02] Speaker 1

a nice personal brand and wish they’ve done it. And they’re like, Oh they’re,

[00:32:07] Speaker 1

they’re probably they probably got this status because of this or because of that.

[00:32:14] Speaker 1

And they try to make excuses, but I think there’s

[00:32:17] Speaker 1

a fine line between arrogance and confidence in personal branding. And I guess I’d

[00:32:23] Speaker 1

like to think I’ve mastered the art of going to the confident side. And one thing

[00:32:28] Speaker 1

that helped me the most is like these awards and seven years and achievement awards

[00:32:34] Speaker 1

have really helped me feel empowered that I am doing good in the community. That I

[00:32:41] Speaker 1

do matter that I am giving benefit to the females in STEM. The kids that

[00:32:48] Speaker 1

I have mentored the people that I talk to on

[00:32:50] Speaker 1

a daily basis to people that watch the awards or finalist nominees semifinalists

[00:32:55] Speaker 1

name it you’ve. It makes me feel validated, that I’ve done

[00:33:00] Speaker 1

a meaningful thing and that I should keep going because it benefits the community

[00:33:06] Speaker 1

and awards like the young achiever awards,  I think are amazing because aside from showing people that there’s inspirational

[00:33:16] Speaker 1

young people out there,  it’s also validates the the ones involved in the awards and telling them that Yes,

[00:33:23] Speaker 1

keep going. You’re doing good. And I think that’s amazing.

[00:33:27] Speaker 2

Yeah,  well thanks for that feedback and you know,

[00:33:29] Speaker 2

I agree with you except one thing I kind of always have thought as well is that

[00:33:34] Speaker 2

personal branding done really well?  And really, in a genuine way actually is leadership. Because as you were saying,

[00:33:43] Speaker 2

you know, you’ve become an ambassador and an example for the young people,

[00:33:48] Speaker 2

young females especially in STEM in engineering construction obviously is all part of that. And so, yeah,

[00:33:54] Speaker 2

that’s one. One thing I like to kind of encourage as well

[00:34:01] Speaker 1

Yes,  the personal branding is definitely an art and as an act of self investment,

[00:34:06] Speaker 1

and I do encourage everyone to be kind to themselves and give themselves

[00:34:12] Speaker 1

a shot because you’ll never know where it’ll take you just keep going and you’ll,

[00:34:18] Speaker 1

you’ll get to the destination you want. Definitely.

[00:34:21] Speaker 2

Yeah. For sure. And as part of that journey, you know,

[00:34:24] Speaker 2

you’re bringing people along with you. And that was really evidenced through your

[00:34:28] Speaker 2

win in the people’s choice award. So I hope that might be airing this. Hey me,

[00:34:33] Speaker 2

but I looked at some stats just before we jumped on the call and there was almost

[00:34:37] Speaker 2

six thousand votes in the people’s choice award, which is pretty good. And yeah,  he garnered about

[00:34:44] Speaker 2

a thousand of them yourself. So that was pretty

[00:34:46] Speaker 1

impressive. God really?  Yes. Oh my God, I have never heard of this. Yes, it is a genuine surprise.

[00:34:55] Speaker 2

So it sounds like you must have, you know,  had your family behind you,

[00:35:00] Speaker 2

your friends and network at the Western Sydney University and,  and at your employer as well.

[00:35:07] Speaker 1

Yeah, I am,  I’m so grateful for that and for the support system that I have. And yes,

[00:35:14] Speaker 1

I was definitely backed up by my family,  both the ones that I have here and in the Philippines,

[00:35:21] Speaker 1

like it’s very much amazing.

[00:35:23] Speaker 1

The friends and co-workers that I have my workplace

[00:35:26] Speaker 1

actually posted it in the company newsletter. And I was just so touched. And actually my community, the hills community,

[00:35:35] Speaker 1

they actually advocated for it and actually voted actively as well. And my

[00:35:42] Speaker 1

connections just in general and also in Western Sydney Uni. And yeah,

[00:35:48] Speaker 1

aside from personal branding being of an advantage into these things. I think having

[00:35:53] Speaker 1

a great support system is one of the main things that got me to where I am right

[00:35:59] Speaker 1

now and got me to getting that award because no one does things alone. And yeah,  it’s just

[00:36:06] Speaker 1

a good reality check for me as well. That even though sometimes it feels like

[00:36:13] Speaker 1

I have to do things on my own,

[00:36:15] Speaker 1

that I have the power to do things that I I am alone in this journey. It makes me

[00:36:21] Speaker 1

feel validated. And it’s so comforting just knowing that there’s people that look

[00:36:27] Speaker 1

out for you and people that are inspired by you and that keeps me going.  And yeah,

[00:36:34] Speaker 1

I think everyone should just value their support system or build it.

[00:36:39] Speaker 2

Yeah,  so true.

[00:36:41] Speaker 2

So before we wrap up, I do have

[00:36:44] Speaker 2

a couple more questions for you because I was really interested to know about the,

[00:36:49] Speaker 2

you know, the committee that you’re on, the young engineers,  Australia and you know what that’s trying to achieve and,

[00:36:55] Speaker 2

and what your experience has been like being part of that.

[00:36:59] Speaker 1

Yeah. So that committee is really amazing because we plan events and other stuff just

[00:37:07] Speaker 1

to help young engineers that are at University or fresh grads or other early

[00:37:13] Speaker 1

career stage, to invest in, invest in themselves, have confidence,  network,

[00:37:21] Speaker 1

go out there. And build their technical and soft skills as well. I think it’s very important to be

[00:37:29] Speaker 1

a part of these committees or in participating such events that are made by these

[00:37:34] Speaker 1

committees. Because aside from widening your network,  you’re actually investing in your self-development. So I think it’s really good

[00:37:42] Speaker 1

because I’m an advocate for self-development,  for personal branding and everything else. I think this is

[00:37:47] Speaker 1

a great tool to be utilized by young engineers to flourish in their career.

[00:37:57] Speaker 2

Well, I’m so happy that there’s people like you out there,  you know, advocating for these types of things,

[00:38:04] Speaker 2

supporting other engineers and that kind of stuff. Now,

[00:38:07] Speaker 2

because I have two young kids who haven’t happened to be girls,

[00:38:11] Speaker 2

and obviously what I want for them is when they’re at their high School ages to feel empowered and,

[00:38:18] Speaker 2

and be able to choose whatever career or whatever it is they want to do. And not be restricted,

[00:38:25] Speaker 2

so I guess what’s your kind of thoughts and advice on how we can I guess foster

[00:38:32] Speaker 2

that sense of taking down some of the barriers for the fields like STEM and I know

[00:38:38] Speaker 2

there’s a lot of work going on. But what’s your take on that?

[00:38:42] Speaker 1

And I think most people focus around trying to get Trying to like empower women, put them on the spotlight,

[00:38:52] Speaker 1

have committees and coalitions and events that are all attended by women

[00:38:59] Speaker 1

though I think that is like a really great step. Don’t get me wrong,

[00:39:02] Speaker 1

but I think one of the most important things is to put men in the conversation.  Like what you said,

[00:39:09] Speaker 1

that you’re worried about. what’ll happen with your kids if things aren’t going

[00:39:14] Speaker 1

well and you of course like it’s just very natural for you to want to give your

[00:39:19] Speaker 1

kids a good life, especially your,

[00:39:22] Speaker 1

your daughters. And I think it is important that you acknowledge that as a male,

[00:39:28] Speaker 1

and I think the male should be included in the conversation as well to just keep

[00:39:34] Speaker 1

the momentum going. Because as society is filled with male female non-binary and

[00:39:42] Speaker 1

everyone should work together to get to the certain goal, it’s not just Oh,

[00:39:49] Speaker 1

just this group of people will do it and then they might get to it if we work

[00:39:53] Speaker 1

together as a community, regardless of race, gender jobs, whatever it may be,  if we work together,

[00:40:01] Speaker 1

we’ll get to that goal faster. So I think just to So I think the

[00:40:07] Speaker 1

development of females in male dominated industries. It starts with everyone being in the conversation. And yeah,

[00:40:17] Speaker 1

the fact that you raise that concern for your daughters is already a good indication. And it’s a great start.

[00:40:26] Speaker 2

Oh, thank you. That’s a damn good answer. By the way. I like that a lot. You know,

[00:40:31] Speaker 2

I think you got to include, you know,  the everyone in the conversation.

[00:40:37] Speaker 2

So that’s excellent. So Amy,

[00:40:41] Speaker 2

my last question for you is in relation to what this podcast is all about. So we’re

[00:40:47] Speaker 2

on the inspiration to Australians podcast. What we’re about is trying to share

[00:40:51] Speaker 2

these stories of young people and you know,

[00:40:53] Speaker 2

people of all ages who are inspiring others and you know, on a personal level,

[00:40:57] Speaker 2

I’ve been really inspired by you. Obviously you’re an academic achiever. You’re

[00:41:00] Speaker 2

doing fantastic in your career. But most of all,

[00:41:03] Speaker 2

I’m inspired by your mindset and the positivity and the way that you’ve learnt over

[00:41:09] Speaker 2

the course of your life so far,  I would use that experiences to really keep progressing and developing. But from

[00:41:17] Speaker 2

your perspective, what is it that inspires you?

[00:41:23] Speaker 1

That’s a good question. I’ll take a few seconds. What inspires me the most is well,

[00:41:40] Speaker 1

It’s definitely my family and my partner as cliche as it sounds.

[00:41:48] Speaker 1

They inspire me because I’ve seen firsthand the journey that they’ve been through.

[00:41:53] Speaker 1

And I’ve seen them power through it. And I’ve seen them stand by my side no matter

[00:41:59] Speaker 1

what. And I’ve seen them at their worst. I’ve seen them at their best. It’s just

[00:42:05] Speaker 1

that reality check that everyone goes through good and bad things in life. It’s

[00:42:11] Speaker 1

what you do and it’s what comes out of it is what matters,  not how many mistakes you made,

[00:42:18] Speaker 1

not how many bad moments you’ve had. It’s the person that comes at the end. And I saw that firsthand,

[00:42:28] Speaker 1

and I think they inspire me so much because I’ve known their stories,

[00:42:31] Speaker 1

I’ve been with them for as long as I know and seeing them,

[00:42:37] Speaker 1

especially my family, seeing them come out of poverty in full pains,

[00:42:43] Speaker 1

was just amazing. Kudos to my mom and dad. They’re the most amazing people I know

[00:42:49] Speaker 1

and yeah, I’m like, teary eyed, just talking about them. But yeah,

[00:42:55] Speaker 1

I’ve seen them work how hard I’ve seen them go from this tiny raggedy little house

[00:43:01] Speaker 1

to one that actually fits the four of us like my siblings and I and

[00:43:05] Speaker 1

a couple of dogs. And yeah,

[00:43:07] Speaker 1

and I think that just really inspires me because no matter how many things are

[00:43:12] Speaker 1

against you, as long as you’re proud to yourself,  you’ll make it. And I think that’s just really inspiring.

[00:43:20] Speaker 2

Well,  I can tell how genuine that answer is for you,

[00:43:23] Speaker 2

just even hearing it in your voice. So thank you for sharing that Amy. I appreciate it.

[00:43:28] Speaker 1

Thank you

[00:43:30] Speaker 2

and, and thank you for your time today. Again,

[00:43:33] Speaker 2

taking time out of your busy schedule. It’s really fantastic and if people you know,  really connecting with that,

[00:43:39] Speaker 2

how can they hear more about you and find out and connect with you,  I guess as well.

[00:43:45] Speaker 1

So I am very much active on my socials,  LinkedIn, Instagram,

[00:43:51] Speaker 1

and Facebook definitely. And I encourage everyone to ask me any questions and however random it may be,

[00:43:59] Speaker 1

I’d be happy to oblige and answer and I am actually in the middle of trying to

[00:44:05] Speaker 1

launch my own podcast. So yeah, there’s, there’s that too,

[00:44:10] Speaker 1

so very cool. Just pick your social and if you want to hear my podcast,

[00:44:15] Speaker 1

please have a listen. Once it’s out and yeah, I’m very much an open book,

[00:44:21] Speaker 1

so feel free to leave me a message, send a random question or

[00:44:25] Speaker 1

a random statement. I’d be happy to converse with you and share my thoughts and hear your stories.

[00:44:31] Speaker 2

That’s fine. Have you got a name for the podcast yet?  Can we get an exclusive

[00:44:37] Speaker 1

To the podcast name is what she thinks

[00:44:42] Speaker 2

and will be out soon. You say,

[00:44:45] Speaker 1

yes I am working on it,  and funnily enough actually have I,

[00:44:50] Speaker 1

I’ve just been overthinking it so much that I had so many names that are listed and

[00:44:56] Speaker 1

they’re right in front of me right now. And I literally just chose the name when

[00:45:00] Speaker 1

you asked me because I was overthinking it too much.

[00:45:03] Speaker 2

I love that,  that’s good. Sometimes you have to just go with it. Refine it later,

[00:45:09] Speaker 2

but nothing is perfect in this world. So there’s no point trying to make it perfect

[00:45:14] Speaker 2

is up to you to go and Refine and improve as you do it.

[00:45:18] Speaker 1

Yeah,  I totally agree that’s. That’s an amazing mantra.

[00:45:22] Speaker 1

And yeah,

[00:45:23] Speaker 1

because we got into talking and I was talking about the first step being the

[00:45:27] Speaker 1

hardest. And here, here I am not taking it so it’s like I’ll be

[00:45:32] Speaker 1

a testimony of what I’m saying And I’ll do it now. And yes,  the podcast is what she thinks,

[00:45:38] Speaker 1

and hopefully we’ll be out soon. Sometime this year. I

[00:45:42] Speaker 2

love that. Well,

[00:45:42] Speaker 2

I can’t wait to listen to it myself and and see the the success of that podcast and

[00:45:49] Speaker 2

follow your journey as well. Amy, thanks again for joining us.

[00:45:52] Speaker 1

Thank you so much,  Josh,  and thank you to everyone who’s listening to this. It’s an amazing journey to be

[00:45:58] Speaker 1

with you all The inspirational australian’s podcast is brought to you by awards,  Australia. We recognise,

[00:46:10] Speaker 1

celebrate and share the stories of inspirational Australians through our awards

[00:46:14] Speaker 1

programs across the country. To find out more to nominate an inspirational

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Australian in your life, or to partner with our awards, visit awards, Australia,  tor.com. If you enjoyed today’s story,

[00:46:28] Speaker 1

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