Donald Cant Watts Corke is dedicated to the development of tomorrow’s leaders.
Katrina is currently in her third year of study in construction management at RMIT University in Melbourne. She started her cadetship with us in September 2017.
Here are her thoughts on the program:
1. Why did you decide to apply for a Cadetship at Donald Cant
I saw it was a fantastic entry point, and an invaluable stepping stone into the industry allowing me to gain real exposure and the opportunity to get to work on some of the most interesting, comprehensive and challenging projects in Melbourne at the moment. Donald Cant Watts
Corke in particular takes on a lot of projects in the health care sector, building large scale hospital/agedcare/medical facilities. Ultimately, I find it very rewarding working toward building facilities that better people’s standard of living, also, dealing with the complex nature/large scale of these projects gives cadets the opportunity to dabble in a bit of everything – complex services/mechanical, retail/commercial spaces, fitouts etc.
2. Describe a typical day for you.
I love the variety of my day-to-day, no two are the same. One day I could be measuring and quantifying a set of plans, helping put together a pre-tender estimate or Bill of Quantities for a project, the next participating in a site walk assisting with the assessment of progress claims or working toward closing out variation claims with builders. The job is a mixture of sometimes working autonomously and working with a team/employing your communication skills to achieve positive outcomes with various project stakeholders. But the variety is what makes me love my job so much – I wouldn’t like to be glued to my desk everyday doing the same tasks!
3. What drew you to a career in Quantity Surveying?
I have always been quite a technical and a lateral thinker – so I really enjoy problem solving. Having been born and raised in Melbourne, I dream of shaping the skyline and making my mark on the city – being able to walk down the street and see a physical representation of your hard work and to create spaces for humans to enjoy for the next 50 or so years to come. In Quantity Surveying, applying cost management practices is fundamental to a construction project, without it, nothing would occur. It is a pivotal role in a construction project and it is very rewarding to be able to be a part of a project from its early phases (schematic and design development) to management of the construction process and handing project variations. It is a very dynamic role which I love!
4. What is the structure of the program?
The main aim is to develop competencies in certain areas by giving the cadets specific tasks and courses to complete by the end of the program to come out with a well rounded skill set that will mark you as a professional in the industry. A dedicated supervisor from senior management guides you through the program, cadets are not micro-managed here which suits me, and grants you freedom to work independently and be in control of your own career whilst having the support of company directors.
The flat management structure here grants everyone in the organisation direct and constant contact
with industry leaders.
5. What do you see as the main the benefits of the program to your future career?
Donald Cant Watts Corke's cadetship program allows cadets to gain the opportunity to build practical project experience in a diverse range of projects coupled with the guidance from industry leaders on a day-to-day basis is a massive advantage for those with a passion for the construction industry who wish to begin their careers. The skills attained from undertaking a cadetship like this will pave the way for future career progression and success.
6. What are you enjoying most about your experience?
It was great to have really meaningful and challenging work straight away. I get to work with a great variety of people, and have access to industry leaders which is really rewarding. Curently I’m really looking forward to attending NAWIC’s (National Association of Women in The Construction Industry) Women’s Day Event as I get the chance to represent DCWC amongst some of the most successful women in the industry.
7. What have you found to be some of the challenges?
It can be tough juggling work with my studies – but my cadetship has taught me how to be disciplined managing my time (whilst still maintaining a social life!) The program is highly flexible around my university timetable and accommodating of my assignment deadlines. You learn to take a step back, look at the big picture and then prioritise the important tasks to get things done efficiently.
8. As a young Project Manager where do you see yourself in five years?
The program really sets you up for a long term career in the field of Quantity Surveying and Project Management. I am very career orientated as a person, and I intend to go beyond my 9-to-5 obligations of my job and eventually get into a senior management role by climbing the corporate ladder – that’s probably a little more than 5 years off mind you!
9. What advice/tips would you give to future Cadets?
Just fully immerse yourself in the experience and the projects that you work on. The satisfaction gained from a job well done, and the support of an excellent team propels you to constantly push yourself for the best results possible. Things at university can be very rote-learnt being out of a textbook, applying this into the real world has at times been challenging for me however it has provided me with a lot of laughs with the silly questions along the way – so in saying that, do not be afraid to ask questions and lean on others for advice. Others are willing to support and guide you, be resourceful with the experience and knowledge of the people around you.
Donald Cant Watts Corke (DCWC) is thrilled to announce the following VIC Project Management promotions. DCWC is led by some of Australia’s most competent professionals, who are focused on working collaboratively with clients to achieve outstanding results. Congratulations to Marcus Bailey, Tony McNamara and Anisa Rahimic.
DCWC is delighted to welcome Rob Williamson to the Adelaide team. Joining DCWC as an Associate, Rob has extensive construction industry knowledge and specialist expertise in project feasibility, risk management, financial services reporting, cost planning, procurement advice and construction superintendency.