Lin-Li Yong—Trying To Find A Balance (Page 1 of 3) 1 Sep 2010

As a high school student, Lin-Li Yong didn't know what she wanted to be when she grew up. She enjoyed maths and sciences, but didn't know where to apply her interests. Her sister suggested she put her logic skills to good use as an engineer. That is just what she did. After studying hard at UWA, Yong now works as a graduate mechanical implementation engineer at engineering company Clough.

"Mechanical engineering just stuck on me," Yong said.

"I haven't looked back. I got through university, graduated and started working immediately. It's been going pretty well so far."

Yong also won the Dr Mark Skinner Memorial Prize in Offshore Engineering for outstanding achievement in the final year of her Bachelor of Engineering Degrees.

Yong has lived in Perth since was bornl 22 years ago. Although she likes being near family and friends, she thinks that if you want to be successful in the industry, sometimes you have to make sacrifices and move

"It might be hard to leave your people behind, but just try to take advantage of every opportunity you are given."

Yong said that she was the first in her family to work in the petroleum sector.

"My parents are financial planners and my sister is a journalist," said Yong, "So I didn't really have anybody in my family to follow, career-wise."

Even though her family doesn't understand a lot about what she does, they understand she is doing well.

"My family is happy, they say it's a good career. They aren't worried about me at all, so that's good that they don't have to worry about one of their children."

Yong has been working with Clough as a graduate since February of this year. Before that, she did vacation work with the company. For Yong, the vacation work led to a full-time position.

During her work experience, Yong got to meet different people in the company. During graduate camp some of the executives came down to talk with them.

"I'm not too sure how corporate I want to be," said Yong. "It was just interesting to hear about their lives and see how they have gotten to that position in their life. I know it's a lot of hard work, I'm just not sure how much of my personal lives I would want to put on hold to get to that position.

"Clough needed someone to replace an engineer who was leaving. I was a bit apprehensive but I'm really glad that I took the job because I'm learning a lot more and getting exposure to actual projects, which is really good," she said.

So far at Clough, Yong has overseen the installation of the lay-down area of a deck on a Floating Storage Offloading vessel, one of four facilities that make up the Bayu-Undan project in the Timor Sea near Darwin.

"It doesn't seem that amazing but it was pretty good to see it all done and finished. They sent me a photo for my wall of my first completed project."