What discipline and cohort (i.e. 2018 or 2019) are you in?
Provide an overview of all your rotations to date:
My first rotation at Rail Services Victoria, working on smaller rail maintenance jobs. While there I worked on the tram realignment stage 1 project for Cross Yarra Partnership (Metro Tunnel), Benalla siding project for the West Gate Tunnel Project and various smaller projects for V/Line, MTM and ARTC. Working on smaller projects allowed me to experience the whole lifecycle of the projects, from tendering, planning, commercial, delivery, and close-out.
My second rotation was planning at North West Program Alliance. This rotation built on and enhanced my understanding of planning and how it is applied to bigger projects, as well as learning how to use the planning software, Primavera. I got to work on various programs for different phases of the project lifecycle, such as the initial development phase, tendering phase, delivery phase, and close-out phase.
My current rotation is in pre-contracts, where I got to work on two different tenders at different phases of the tender cycle. In this rotation, I worked with the estimators to help price up the works.
What does your typical workday look like?
My day would start with coffee, regardless of the rotation or project I’m on. Next, I would sit down and write my “to-do list” for the day, half of which would have already been populated the previous day before I left work. I usually highlight my “must-do tasks” which are critical tasks needed to be completed that day, and any other tasks I should do if I have time.
Depending on the rotation, my mornings would either be a site walk or be in meetings. If I’m on site, I try to stay on site for most of the day, only going into the site office to complete my “must-do tasks”. For office-based rotations, I try finish my list of things to do in order of priority.
Before leaving work, I always write down what I need to do for the next day, as well as carry over any non-critical tasks I have leftover.
What has been the most interesting thing about your job?
I’ve found everything interesting so far because I’ve had a wide range of experiences. On the smaller projects, I was given more responsibility and was able to be more hands-on with a lot of different areas, such as safety, quality, environmental, legal and commercial. On the bigger projects, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of certain functions of a project, such as planning, and how it ties into the overall project.
What are the limitations of your role?
I don’t think there are any limitations to being a graduate engineer. You are there to learn, and through the different experiences you’ll have along the way, you’ll gain the knowledge.
What is something you wish you knew before you started?
Bring a notebook around with you and write down any words you don’t understand, then ask your supervisor or manager for the meaning. The construction industry is filled with slang and no one will slow down to explain them to you.
How did you prepare for starting on the Graduate Program?
I had to move interstate for the Graduate Program, so I was too busy looking for accommodation to prepare anything. I don’t think you need to prepare anything, just come to work with an open mind and willingness to learn and the rest you’ll learn along the way.