Current Cadet

Donald Cant Watts Corke is dedicated to the development of tomorrow’s leaders.

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Michael Tran - Cadet Quantity Surveyor

Michael Tran, Cadet Quantity SurveyorMichael joined us as a Cadet Quantity Surveyor in August 2017. Based in our Perth office, he is currently in the final year of his Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management) at Curtin University.

Here are his thoughts on the program:

1. Why did you decide to apply for a Cadetship at Donald Cant Watts Corke?

When I first started my Construction Management degree, I wanted to learn more about the companies that I could potentially work for one day. I came across Donald Cant Watts Corke’s cadetship program on their website and found the profiles of the current cadets inspiring. I saw how much more the cadets were getting out of the program that university alone cannot teach and I felt determined to follow in their footsteps.

2. Describe a typical day for you.

I would tell you right now that each day is different to the next. No two days are the same which is an interesting and enjoyable part of being a cadet. With this in mind, I am exposed to enormous opportunities such as assisting in cost plans, bill of quantities, contract administration, report writing and site visits.

3. What drew you to a career in Quantity Surveying?

I have always been fond of the long processes that are involved in construction and find that all buildings are marvellous in a unique way. I also have a keen interest in economics and finance, so I immediately knew that being a quantity surveyor would be my passion.

5. What do you see as the main benefits of the program to your future career?

Getting a hands-on experience while studying is the best way to learn. I get to study while I work and that is one of the best benefit of this program. In doing so I am ahead of my peers who do not have the experience side of working within the construction industry. I also get to network and build relationships with industry leaders who maybe one day will become long-term clients.

6. What are you enjoying most about your experience?


I love how rewarding the program is. I can clearly see a big difference in my skills and experience from when I first started, whether it's doing a cost report or assessing variations, I am now much more accomplished. This is, in part, down to the enthusiasm and willingness of my mentors, they go above and beyond to pass on their knowledge and guide me as a cadet into being the industry’s next leader. They truly inspire me! 

7. What have you found to be some of the challenges?

When I first started as a cadet at Donald Cant Watts Corke I had a fear of failing and worried about disappointing my mentor when I didn’t know something. I now appreciate that we all go through this process of being inexperienced and it's important to keep learning so we slowly overcome each gap of knowledge bit by bit. I put a lot of pressure on myself for overthinking the situation when in reality, all that needed to happen was to ask more questions.

8. As a young Quantity Surveyor where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself leading a team of my own on prominent developments and also passing on my experience to a new wave of cadets, showing them meaningful ways to solve common problems, just as my mentors have done for me.

9. What advice/tips would you give to future Cadets?

The program throws you right in the deep end immediately from day one. Although it's daunting, embrace it because the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone really tests you and makes you stronger as well as giving you a genuine feel of what being a Quantity Surveyor is all about.

Learn from my mistake and don't be afraid to ask questions! In the end, you are learning so if you're not sure, just ask. The benefits of being a cadet are endless as your character, resilience and ability to problem solve will all be developed, giving you best possible start in becoming the next industry leader.

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