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Kharishma Paves Her Way Forward

Helping her father at small construction sites on weekends with simple tasks like passing him tools, at Tauvegavega, Ba, left a life-long career impression on Kaharti Kharishma Devi. As a
04 Mar 2018 10:33
Kharishma Paves Her Way Forward
Kaharti Kharishma Devi

Helping her father at small construction sites on weekends with simple tasks like passing him tools, at Tauvegavega, Ba, left a life-long career impression on Kaharti Kharishma Devi.

As a middle child, with an older sister and a younger brother, her curiosity would eventually draw her towards books about building things or do-it-yourself projects.

It was not until as a young 13 year old third former of Xavier College when Kharishma single handedly built a dog house for their family pet, that she finally realised what her true passion was and later taking up technical science.

“My dad was impressed and said he would be proud if his son would become an engineer but my brother was always opening up electrical items trying to fix them. So instead I told my Dad, don’t worry I will grow up and be an Engineer and the first thing I will do is fix our road,” she fondly recalls.

It was a promise her late father would no doubt have been very proud to see, as the 25 year old is now Fulton Hogan Hiways Design Manager Central Division, and the first in her family in the profession.

That’s no small feat for a young FNU Diploma in Civil Engineering graduate joining the ranks of a multi-national operator like Fulton Hogan Hiways, as a fresh faced attaché back in mid-May, 2013.

Today she manages a key department with 10 staff preparing design submissions to FRA, pavement investigations and laboratory testing, conducting site scoping and keeping track of project approvals along with construction follow ups, and making sure, projects are completed in accordance with approved designs.

Kharishma, as she is popularly known at FHH, acknowledges that although she works in a traditionally male dominated profession, career choices should never be limited by gender.

“What’s important is that I’m doing something I love. It is also a big plus working for a company that offers opportunities not based on gender but on hard work, dedication and merit,” she says.

“I’ve learnt a lot thanks to the ongoing training and mentoring provided by the company,” says the Ba woman, adding that one of the most rewarding aspects of her work is that results are always visible.

Her advice to young girls is “never let anyone define who you are by your gender and be the person you want to be and work hard to achieve your goal.”

Ms Devi’s long term goal is to complete her Degree in Civil Engineering and continue to contribute to the nation’s ongoing infrastructure improvements.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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