Road to Civil Engineering

Shivnesh SharmaAs a young boy, Shivnesh Sharma was intrigued by the designs and construction of infrastructure such as roads, buildings and bridges.  He admired people who worked at constructions sites and roads. However, at this point he did not know that there was a field of study dedicated to this.

Sharma grew up in Tavakubu, Lautoka with his parents and younger sibling.  While growing up Sharma would always think about pursuing a career in that field. In primary school one of his teachers told him that he would need to study Civil Engineering to be a part of that field. From then onwards he was dedicated to pursuing studies in this field. 

Sharma attended Gandhi Bhawan Primary School from 2001 to 2008. He then attended Tilak High School where he completed Form Seven in 2011. Just as he had planned, he applied to study Trade Diploma in Civil Engineering at the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST). This was a two year programme with 18 months of theory in the classroom and six months of practical experience in the industry.

In 2012, he embarked on a journey experienced by most youths his age to attain further education away from home.

“I was very excited as I had never stayed away from home. I knew this would be a challenging journey but I was super excited as I would get to experience the independent life,” he said.

For Sharma, the student life at FNU was fun as well as challenging.

“I had a lot of fun renting with my cousins and their friends. Soon we all became friends and we still are friends. Most of us are still renting together. The journey, however, did not come without challenges especially financial difficulties,” he added.

Sharma graduated in 2014. He was excited to join the workforce.

“Civil engineering is more fun once you start working. To be honest, I was getting a bit bored with all the theory but after being exposed to the industry work during my attachment, I loved the work. We are presented with many challenges and this makes the work more interesting,” said Sharma.

He worked for B.W. Holdings Limited as a Surveyor. This was an attachment position, however, after six months he was given a full time position as a Project Administrator/ Quantity Surveyor in October 2014. He worked on this position till May 2017 when he was promoted to Project Supervisor.

He then joined Daulomani Plant Hire in January 2018 as the Project Supervisor. He worked here till he joined the Fiji Roads Authority as a Works Inspector in June 2018.

As part of his current role, he is working on the Nausori to Nakasi road upgrade.

Sharma is grateful for his family’s continued support which has allowed him to achieve his goals.

“My family especially my parents, have always been very supportive towards my goals. They have worked hard and have encouraged me to work hard in order to succeed with anything that we do,” he added.

Sharma’s advice to new graduates is to use their qualifications as a license to learn, never be afraid to fail and to finish what they start.

“The degree you attain does not mean you know everything. The degree you receive is a foundation of basic skills to achieve more,” he said.

Sharma has come out successful using the above philosophies and advises graduates to give them a try.