How long have you been employed at Aurecon and what sort of work have you undertaken?
I started with Aurecon as a graduate in 2000 at the Adelaide office working in civil engineering. Around three years after that I was given the opportunity to relocate to Western Australia to set up and manage the Port Hedland office which targeted our key client, BHP Billiton. I then went on secondment to the United Kingdom (UK) with Mott Macdonald, who Aurecon previously partnered with, and worked in Cambridge. This was followed by four years of aid work in places like South America and South East Asia. I then made the move to the UAE as an Associate in Land Development and am now the Country Manager.
Describe how your career has progressed since graduation?
I was given the opportunity to travel quite a lot which also assisted me to progress quickly as I undertook a variety of work in a variety of industries. From civil engineering in Adelaide to resources and manufacturing focused work in Port Hedland and then aid work, I was able to obtain a broad skill set.
What is the most challenging project you have ever worked on?
The first week managing the Port Hedland office was challenging, as I was still fairly new to the profession. I stepped into the mining and industrial industry for the first time which was out of my comfort zone, as I was used to working in civil. In this new role, managing an office, I found myself in much closer and regular contact with a key client. I had to familiarise myself with all that Aurecon had to offer (not just one industry) and sell the company’s skills to match the client’s requirements.
How did your mentor assist you in your career development?
My mentors, and there were quite a few, helped to create opportunities for me. I was open with them and was able to let them know when I felt ready to take on further challenges. As a younger manager, it was always important that I could turn to them for sound advice. I was unable to go to my colleagues as I was now mentor to many of them, so to be able to turn to some of the more senior people I had worked with was great. They provided invaluable advice and information that they had gained through many years in the industry.
What do you enjoy most about working for Aurecon?
I enjoy the variety and opportunity to travel and work in different industries. I have been quite fortunate in that regard. While Aurecon is a large organisation there is a strong sense of community. I am able to speak frankly and openly with senior leadership and connect with people from across industries in all locations.
Can you describe a career highlight?
Working on the Lahore Walled City in Pakistan and Guyana in South America, where I focused my skills on flood relief. It was a chance to travel to remote and interesting locations. During my time there I felt like I was able to draw on my skills and experience to make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate.