Ilya Pankov is only 19 years-old. Why is this important? Get ready to read about how fascinating and motivated this young man is.

In 2018, Ilya was supposed to be at Paynters for a week of work experience organised through his school, Kelvin Grove College, and the CSQ Gateways Program.

Ilya said he enjoyed the environment so much that he asked if he could stay with the well renowned Brisbane construction for an extra week during his school holidays.

Born and raised in Russia, Ilya knew that his options after school were to either go back to Russia to serve in the Russian Army (compulsory in Russia) or to try everything he could to stay in Australia.

Ilya did not have a residency visa, only a family visa which expired as he was finishing and could not afford an international visa.

His twin brother went home to serve in the military but Ilya really wanted to stay and work in Australia saying “there are so many more opportunities here.”

After finishing high school at Kelvin Grove College in 2018, Ilya tells “I went back to Paynters and asked them if I could have a job, which is when I got a position as a design cadet.”

Ilya’s year and a half in this role included 3D visualisation, introducing new technology to the company (such as QR codes and Apps), and being heavily involved in the design process by dealing directly with clients.

“I have just recently been promoted to Technical Development Coordinator which will include technical development for the company.”

Ilya provides a bit of insight into projects he works on:

“My mid-year proposal was on augmented reality where I created an app that takes a 3D model of a building to have it as augmented reality on a phone/ another application I am working on is QR codes for construction sites.”

Ilya loves the culture at Paynters explaining that “I have a great team, I am included on a lot of the decision-making processes and get to talk to clients to build my own network.”

“Paynters definitely provide a wide range of opportunities and again, they gave me the opportunity to explore the technology side of things, and considering I haven’t had an official university qualification for them to support me, is pretty great.”

Paynters have not only provided Ilya with an amazing working environment but to explore his passion for technology.

“Because of Paynters, I have been able to fill a lot of my personal dream, like moving out into my own space.”

CSQ Careers Pathway Coordinator, Tony Martin asked Ilya during his interview:

“Do you realise what most 19-year-olds are doing with themselves?”

Ilya’s quirky response was “I live in the middle of Fortitude Valley so I have a pretty good idea of what people my age are getting up to…”

What an inspiring young man with a brilliant work ethic and dedication to bettering his knowledge.

Click here to learn more about CSQ’s Gateways Program.