Toby Dobson-Smith

Toby Dobson-Smith

Graduate Geotechnical Engineer, Soil & Rock Consultants
Bachelor of Science in Geoscience and Geospatial Science

If you study what you love, university will not only be easy but also very enjoyable, says Toby Dobson-Smith who graduated from AUT with a Bachelor of Science in Geoscience and Geospatial Science.

“Geology has always interested me. After school, I was unsure what I wanted to do with my future and while I was looking for jobs, I stumbled upon AUT’s Geoscience major. It grabbed my attention and before I knew it, I was enrolled to start the following year.

“While I was at AUT, I also found out about geospatial science and its amazing applications to the world around us, so I added that as my second major. I think I enjoyed my degree so much because I studied what I was interested in learning and didn’t just focus on an end job.”

That proved to be a good decision for Toby and he soon found out that his passion could lead to a very rewarding career.

“Once I started getting deeper into the applications of what I was learning in my second and third year, I could see how these things were being applied to real-world scenarios. I realised that I could make a living in a subject I’m passionate about and because there’s a lack of skilled workers in this field, I could get a really good job. That sparked my motivation to excel and do well.”

A personalised learning experience
He still has fond memories of his time at university, says Toby who is proud of maintaining an A grade average throughout his studies, despite COVID-19 hitting halfway through his degree.

“AUT offered a more personal learning experience with smaller classes and a more practical element that I found appealing. I had multiple friends attend AUT before me, and they all had positive things to say about the university. The AUT City Campus also has an amazing atmosphere with a new modern building and amazing facilities that made coming into uni a pleasure.”

Being able to get to know the academic staff was another highlight for him.

“With smaller lecture sizes throughout my time at AUT, I was able to form strong relationships with most, if not all, my lecturers, and they knew me and my peers on a first name basis. My main lecturer, Professor Michael Petterson, really inspired me to push myself and challenge my critical thinking.”

Providing solutions to the construction industry
After completing his studies at the end of 2021, Toby now works as a graduate geotechnical engineer for Soil & Rock Consultants, a geotechnical and environmental engineering consultancy.

“In this role, I’m involved in the testing, monitoring and sampling of different geological landscapes to provide well-grounded solutions to the construction industry and other clients across the country. My work has a really good balance of field and office work, and I enjoy getting out into the field and applying my knowledge to help a wide range of people with their building requirements.”

He constantly draws on the skills he developed throughout his time at university.

“AUT taught me to not only be book smart but also to communicate and collaborate with people to get a result. This has made me not only very practical but very employable in the industry.”

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