Fulfil and Succeed: Meet Lucien Nguyen, St Mark’s Class of 2010

Lucien Nguyen

After graduating from St Mark’s in 2010, I pursued my interests in projects and design, studying a Master of Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce at UWA.

My first experiences onsite was with Main Roads in the Gascoyne Region. I also worked at Concept CS, an engineering consultancy. As I was also interested in finance, I spent time working at KPMG, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte.

I was blessed with the opportunity to work with ExxonMobil as a reservoir engineering intern in Melbourne. This was when I found my passion for the oil and gas industry, leading me to an internship with Shell, and then completing my thesis with Woodside Energy.

After graduating from UWA, I started working for Shell, and in the years that followed, have worked in both Queensland and Western Australia.

To the current students at St Mark’s, if you were to ask me for advice, I would ask you to focus on three things.

Be adaptable to change. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that everything, including some things in life that we have grown to take for granted (for example the ability to travel freely), are subject to change. In life, there are elements that are within our scope of control, and other elements that we cannot influence. What I’ve learned is that those who are most successful let what they can’t control be. Instead, they focus on what they can control, and adapt to change.

Show respect and compassion. My parents came to Australia in 1981, to flee post-war Communist Vietnam. They were lost in the ocean and nearly out of fuel. They ran into an oil rig, which gave them apples, water and fuel. 36 years later, on an offshore trip for a well intervention project, the vessel I was working on provided assistance to a small fishing vessel stranded and off-course due to a recent cyclone. You will never know where life can take you, and the people whose lives you may influence along the way.

Appreciate every opportunity and make the most of what you have. I was on a camp during 2016, as part of my Youth volunteering group, where we hiked up Mt Cooke and made Mi Goreng noodles. We had a single bottle of olive oil for cooking.

After returning to base camp, we realised that the olive oil had been left behind. We had to improvise with the small packets of oil from the instant noodles! With our limited resources, we still managed to make our pancakes.

It taught all of us that we tend to only appreciate things when they are scarce, and that the opportunity to innovate often prevents itself during times of hardship.

I was preparing for an engineering test with a friend, also a St Mark’s Old Scholar, and we realised that despite the wide array of student groups and societies at UWA, there was nothing for Mechanical Engineering. We subsequently co-founded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) at UWA. Starting the student society was not a straightforward journey, but with the support of fellow students and staff, we were able to make it a reality. So seek out opportunities, and make the most of what you have.

Most importantly, in the journey of life, during difficult times, you can always give up - a course, a task, or an ambition. But if you find your passion and would like to succeed in it, don’t give up during the tough times.

To all the teachers and staff at St Mark’s, thank you for everything over the years, and the good memories I have of the School. From answering my many questions during and after class, taking the time to mentor me, St Mark’s was truly a second home for me and for that, I’m forever grateful.

To the current students at St Mark’s, I would wish you good luck. With the support you have at St Mark’s from your friends and the staff members, I am sure you won’t be needing it!

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