Science without borders student really digs Brisbane

Gustavo Henrique Junqueira Penitente came to UQ on a study abroad exchange from Brazil in 2014 and has now moved back to Brisbane to work with Delta Group as an engineer.

When I first came to The University of Queensland on exchange from Brazil, my goal was to improve my English language skills and gain some international workplace experience— but I got much more.

I have recently moved back to Brisbane from my hometown of Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo, to work as a project engineer with Delta Group, the same construction and demolition company I interned with while on exchange in 2014.

Improving my communication skills at UQ and then working with Delta Group really gave me an advantage getting a job in Australia once I graduated.

I now work a lot with relationship management and coordinating various subcontractors involved on a big construction site, so good communication is crucial.

At the moment I’m working on a really interesting project, excavating a six-level basement in South Brisbane, working 18 metres below street level.

I was one of 39 Brazilian Government Science Without Borders scholarship recipients who came to UQ for the inaugural workplace program and a two-semester Study Abroad program, where I studied civil engineering courses and researched public transport in Brisbane.

During an internship in 2014, I was part of a team of DeltaGroup engineers working on a now-completed $670 million refurbishment project.

The eight-week Workplace Preparation and Professional Internship Program was organised by Extension Studies International at ICTE-UQ.

Even after graduating from one of South America’s best universities, I felt that studying at UQ provided me with the differential to pursue a position as an engineer here in Australia, due to its highly-regarded reputation down under.

Since January 2016, I have been involved in multiple large projects, including the construction of the new Ikea at North Lakes, and working as project engineer on the Casino Towers project for Brookfield Multiplex and Lucid Project for Mirvac.

I believe my whole experience at UQ, as well as everything that I have been exposed to during that study abroad experience, broadened my view of the world and gave me new ways of looking at challenges.