What's your job about?
I am working at Mainbrace in the Brisbane office. Mainbrace offers an excellent undergraduate program that covers a vast majority of the construction world. The undergraduate position consists of 3 main aspects of Construction done on a rotation of 9 months per sector. The rotation allows you the flexibility of working at your own pace dependent on whether you need more or less time. This gives you a taste of the whole organisation rather than one portion of it. Currently I am working with the Senior Estimators tendering on future projects.
My day to day tasks involve looking after the quotes that we receive for packages for the projects as well as assisting with phone calls from subcontractors and assisting the Estimators in whatever way I can. This can involve measuring, to simply organising all the drawings that we receive for the job.
What's your background?
I am a 19-year-old second year university student, born in Melbourne but raised in Brisbane since I was two. I graduated high school from Ipswich Grammar School in 2015, and always wanted to pursue a career as a primary school teacher or paediatric nurse. The only problem was the subjects I was doing where more hands on, for example, graphics, IPT & Technology studies which wasn’t ideal with the particular career path I had in mind. It wasn’t until two weeks before graduating that I realised I didn’t want to follow these pathways at university.
My older brother was an undergraduate Construction Manager and he told me I would enjoy being a quantity surveyor because I thoroughly enjoyed my graphics and industrial studies throughout high school. I then went into his workplace and sat down with one of the Estimators and talked to him about what he did on a day to day basis and what his job actually involved. I found this much more beneficial then reading up about it on google.
Ever since I started studying Quantity Surveying & Cost Engineering at university, I have not regretted my decision. I really enjoyed it from day one, as I could bring my knowledge of the subjects I undertook in school to this course.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Someone with a different background would be capable of doing the general administrative tasks the role includes. However without a construction background they would have limited capacity in understanding the construction methodology.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about my job, is that I get to work on upcoming projects and I get to see the project from the very beginning right through to the finished product. I also get to learn the knowledge of how buildings are actually put together and what is involved within it.
The task that I enjoy doing the most at Mainbrace is actually measuring different items within the project. This makes me feel more involved and by measuring you start to develop a feel for the project.
Even if it is a little quiet in the office I will grab an old project and start measuring the harder items and checking them against the bill of quantities that the estimator provided to help me learn and achieve greater knowledge.
What are the limitations of your job?
As an undergraduate, you can be given a lot of responsibility, and this is where you need key qualities such as, self-motivation, eye for detail and great time management. These can help you dramatically within the project. Very rarely will you need to work on the weekends unless you are falling behind on a tender.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
Being a student that has only been an undergraduate for a month my three pieces of advice would be;