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Catherine Liu


Network Planning Engineer




What did you study?

I studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Degree majoring in Electrical and Electronics engineering at the University of Auckland.

Why did you choose this course?

I chose Engineering as it combines both my love of innovation and technology together.  Engineers provide solutions for many of our day-to-day problems and also help to simplify and enhance our lifestyles.   Many of the things we use today are designed by Engineers!

What did you enjoy about your course?

I thoroughly enjoyed the design papers within the course as it gave us an opportunity to turn our theoretical knowledge into practical experience and produce a working prototype for our project. We also had the opportunity to team up with industry partners so it gave us an insight into working life and what we would be doing within our line of work.

What helped you to successfully complete your course?

A lot of hard work, time and dedication were invested to successfully complete this degree.  My peers and lecturers were also crucial to my success as they provided different points of views to help solve problems I encountered.

What advice do you have for future students?

Do your research and make sure you find a degree that you enjoy.  If you decide on Engineering, be prepared for hard work and a time consuming degree.




Describe your job

I work as a Network Planning Engineer at Vodafone. Within this role I deal with managing the capacity of the network, capital plans and expenditure, and the forecasting of network volumetrics.

What do you do on an average day?

There is a lot of variety in the work I do every day, from forecasting and building robust mathematical models to helping with the capital plan for our network.  Being in the planning team I interact with many different design teams within Networks and also from different domains in the business such as Marketing and Finance. 

What is the most exciting about your job?

It is awesome to be able to use your mobile phone/landline/broadband and think “Wow! I’m part of the team that made this possible!”

What opportunities does your job offer?

Vodafone is a great company that nurtures all its employees and helps with personal growth.  With Vodafone being a global company, there could be potential to relocate to another Operating Company under Vodafone or perhaps travel in the future when a higher job position is obtained. I would love to work overseas in the future and think Vodafone is a great company in helping to provide the means of doing so.

What skills, training, education or past experiences helped you secure your job?

I think being well rounded helped me secure my job.  I had a strong academic background, passion for technology, previous work experience (however not within Telecommunications) and extra-curricular activities (volunteer at Salvation Army).

Where do you see yourself heading in the future within this industry?

In the near future I see myself continually building up the skills that will help me succeed within my current job.  I would love to work toward a managerial position in the future.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to work in the Telecommunications industry?

It is definitely crucial to have a strong academic background however a passion for technology is also highly regarded.