The University of Newcastle, Australia

A last-minute decision to attend a construction management presentation at Open Day almost five years ago was a life changing moment that has since shaped the career path of graduate, Artemiy (Tim) Shevchenko.

Initially interested in engineering and mechatronics, Tim said after accepting an offer for construction management, he never considered moving across.

“Construction management is challenging, it provided me with many skills that help me now in my day-to-day life. Halfway through my degree I was certain I chose the right path,” Tim said.

Tim won’t be alone on Friday when he crosses the stage to collect his certificate and will be joined by his father, Michael, who last year completed his Master of Business Administration.

“My dad started his masters when I started my third year. I was helping him structure reports and navigate through the online student learning and communication portal, Blackboard, while he was checking my spelling and text formatting for reports,” Tim said.

With both juggling full time employment with their studies, Michael said the biggest thing his son helped him with was time management.

“Studying online in Newcastle was drastically different to studying in Russia back in the 1980s. I nearly failed my first trimester as I was so new to the process, but Tim being an experienced student by then helped me to set priorities, tasks and deadlines,” Michael said.

The Shevchenko family – including Tim and his two siblings – moved from Russia to the Central Coast almost a decade ago, enticed by the climate and opportunities.

“I was just 14 when we moved here and it was very different to growing up in Russia. The hardest part to overcome at the time was the language and social barriers, but I’m so grateful for the weather and my time at the University of Newcastle,” Tim said.

“My degree taught me a lot of things including the skills to plan and ability to learn. One particular semester I had a really demanding subject, so I put in long hours to make sure I passed. It was a challenging experience, but I learned a lot and I do miss it.”

Now working as an estimator at a building firm on the Central Coast, Tim built on his knowledge by working as a labourer throughout his degree to gain experience with construction from the ground up.

Encouraged by the rest of his family’s education journey, Tim’s youngest brother is also following their lead and will start a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering in June this year.

“My wife and I are very proud of our kids. We moved to Australia for the possibilities and to give them a good future, and we believe education opens up new opportunities,” Michael said.

After years of hard work that began and ended with the support of his father, Tim is looking forward to sharing a milestone moment with him on Friday.

“Graduating with my dad is the best graduation I could ask for,” Tim said.

Tim and Michael Shevchenko will attend the 2pm Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment graduation ceremony on Friday 12 April at the Great Hall.

Tim and Michael Shevchenko

Tim Shevchenko

A last-minute decision to attend a construction management presentation at Open Day was a life changing moment that shaped the career path of graduate, Tim Shevchenko.

Construction management is challenging, it provided me with many skills that help me now in my day-to-day life. Halfway through my degree I was certain I chose the right path.