on June 20th, 2024

From the bustling streets of Nairobi to the serene landscapes of Perth, Leshan Saika’s journey is one of resilience, ambition, and a quest for knowledge. Currently pursuing a Master of Engineering (Civil: Structural) degree at the Engineering Institute of Technology’s (EIT) Perth campus, Leshan shares his experiences and insights with us.

Student Story: Leshan’s Engineering Journey at EIT

Leshan’s story is a remarkable journey that began with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Nairobi. With nearly a decade of professional experience as a Civil/Structural Engineer and Project Manager, he decided to further his education and enhance his skills at EIT in Perth.

Taking time out of his rigorous academic schedule, Leshan talks about his transition from Nairobi to Perth, challenges, enriching academic experience at EIT, and future aspirations.

Can you tell us about your background in Nairobi and what motivated you to pursue a Master of Engineering (Civil: Structural) degree at EIT Perth?

I pursued my undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. I have nine years of work experience as a civil/structural engineer and project manager. I am motivated to pursue an MCS degree at EIT Perth to gain more knowledge and skills by pursuing a Master of Engineering (Civil: Structural) degree.

What were the most significant challenges you faced when transitioning from Nairobi to Perth, both personally and professionally?

The most significant challenge was adapting to a new system of operation and settling in Perth. Professionally, I am yet to commence working with an engineering firm in Perth.

How has your family adapted to life in Perth? What are some of the biggest differences between living in Nairobi and Perth?

My family is still in Kenya. Living in Perth is more advanced and organized than in Nairobi. Public transport, public parks, and overall organization contrast Nairobi.

How would you describe your academic experience at EIT so far? What aspects of the program have you found most beneficial?

My academic experience at EIT has been nothing short of excellent. Every unit I have covered so far is relevant to my field. Including engineering software and a student-centered teaching model has benefited me greatly.

Can you share a bit about the coursework and projects you’ve worked on while completing your degree? Any project that stands out?

“During my coursework, I have learned new software such as Spacegass and Inducta. I have also learned more about project management. The projects ranged from project management to design using software learning. The project that stood out for me was designing a three-story Melbourne building using Inducta software.”

How have your previous work experience in Kenya as a Structural Engineer and Project Manager influenced your studies and approach to engineering at EIT?

My previous work experience has enabled me to appreciate what I am studying at EIT even more. My approach to engineering keeps getting better with my continued studies at EIT.

How has your experience been in terms of networking with fellow students and professionals in the engineering community at EIT and Perth?

It has been an awesome experience meeting students and professionals from different backgrounds and races. It has been an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

What has been the most surprising or rewarding cultural exchange aspect between your Kenyan heritage and Australian culture?

I have appreciated and adopted the different cultures in Australia. I have picked up rewarding cultures such as hard work and time management.

What are your plans after completing your master’s degree? Do you intend to return to Kenya, or are you considering opportunities in Australia or elsewhere?

After completing my master’s degree, I plan to work for an engineering firm in Australia for at least two years to gain practical experience before returning to Kenya.

What advice would you give to prospective international students considering studying at EIT, especially those from a similar professional background as yours?

I would recommend EIT as one of the best engineering institutions in Perth. It’s simply the best!

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