At WSP, our people are our greatest asset. Our people-centred working model not only helps them to bring their wholes selves to work but also empowers our people to thrive in every aspect of their lives.
In Melbourne, Oliver Yang has recently returned from Thailand where he represented Australia in the 14th Asian Dragon Boat Championships.
“Dragon Boating is a traditional water sport that dates back 2000 years in southern China”, says Oliver. “There are 22 people in a boat, including one drummer, a sweep who controls the boat, and 20 paddlers.
“I was interested in getting involved in Dragon Boating because it connects me to my culture. As someone from a Chinese background, I am very proud to be the first person in my family to be involved and represent Australia.”
Oliver is in The Auroras, Australia’s national Dragon Boating team, who ranked 7th overall at this year’s Championship. “It was an awesome experience to race against the best of the best and I tested out how much I could push myself both physically and mentally, adds Oliver.
The demands from Dragon Boating and working full-time required Oliver to practice a very high amount of discipline in order to maintain an effective work-life balance.
Oliver competed with around 300 people to get a place on the Australian team.
“To be selected, there were training camps that involved fitness tests, high-intensity training, and benchmarking,” says Oliver.” If you succeed in all of that, you get into the squad and must do time trials every week to stay on top of your time ranking. You never get to rest.”
To prepare for the championships in Thailand, Oliver had to do upwards of nine gym sessions and four water training sessions per week.
“I was very transparent with my manager about my commitments with Dragon Boating and they were really supportive of it,” Oliver says. “Thanks to WSP’s flexibility and hybrid working model, I am able to start work early and juggle both my work and sporting demands.”
“The pressure that sometimes comes with competitive Dragon Boating has taught me many valuable lessons that I apply in other areas of my life, such as how to work more effectively in a team and manage competing priorities.”
According to Andy Cross, Head of Talent Acquisition & Mobility, “We are privileged that with such a diverse range of expertise in the firm, our graduates can explore a wide variety of directions in their career, and we can support them to achieve their unique aspirations. Our people are our most important asset and investing in developing young talent will pay dividends far into the future."
Oliver concludes, “I’m grateful to be working at a place that is flexible and understanding of my commitments to Dragon Boating and the positive impact it has on my life overall– I would not have been able to compete in the Championships without the help from my manager and colleagues at WSP.”
Oliver is also a member of our Emerging Professionals Network (EPN), heading the ‘Business Areas and the Value they Add’ (BAVA) team in Melbourne this year. Oliver’s role involves leading four EPN BAVA members and organising events focused on WSP business areas.
The EPN aims to develop a network of emerging professionals who are empowered, engaged, and inspire one another to benefit our clients and WSP.
Congratulations to Oliver Yang on living the WSP Guiding Principles and for contributing to WSP being a great place to work.
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