Current Cadet

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


Olivia Kennedy - Cadet Quantity Surveyor

Olivia Kennedy Colour_500w.jpgOlivia is a Cadet Quantity Surveyor based in our Sydney office. She is currently in her final year of her Bachelor of Construction Project Management at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Here are her thoughts on the program:

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

I am currently in my third year of studying a Bachelor of Construction Project Management at the University of Technology, Sydney and in order to complete my degree, I need to complete two hundred days of experience within the industry. The cadetship offered at Donald Cant Watts Corke fronted itself as a great entry point with potential to experience both Quantity Surveying and Project Management. The opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of projects and grow within a renowned company is an extremely exciting prospect.

2. Describe a typical day for you.

Throughout my time at Donald Cant Watts Corke I can say that no two days have been the same. As a Cadet Quantity Surveyor, I have been exposed to site visits, meetings with consultants, preparing Bill of Quantities or Cost plans and assessing both progress and variation claims. Quantity Surveying allows you to work on different projects at the same time and experience all sides of the multifaceted industry that we work in.

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

I saw Quantity Surveying as a great entry point in to the construction industry. I believe that it will provide me with a strong foundation of knowledge and exposure across all sectors of the industry. Quantity Surveyors play a crucial role in the success of a project, constantly dealing with a range of professionals and facing new challenges on a day to day basis; to me it is very exciting to play such a prominent and involved role in the delivery of a project.

4. What is the structure of the program?

Donald Cant Watts Corke offers an extremely flexible and accommodating Cadet Program that allows me to study full time. Whilst at work, you are surrounded by years of knowledge and senior team members who are willing to aid you in any way possible. The senior team member will constantly review your work and ensure you are performing to the best of your ability.

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

The practical involvement and skills gained throughout the cadet program will allow me to establish myself within the industry. While the variety and exposure within this program will essentially allow me to develop an understanding of each consultant’s role in a project and decide which path I will take later on in my career. This program also allows cadets to have access to years of experience and knowledge from mentors who want us to succeed and grow within the company. The chance to learn from the best in the industry is an invaluable opportunity that will immensely benefit my future career.

6. What are you enjoying most about your experience?

Besides the great exposure to different projects and the opportunities to develop and learn, I have to say the culture at Donald Cant Watts Corke is what I am enjoying the most. Whether it's other cadets all the way up to directors, everyone I work with are extremely approachable and are committed to making the place we work an enjoyable and positive environment, which is extremely important to me.

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

The main challenge I face would be my commute to work between the Central Coast and Sydney, however I am slowly adjusting and I know that the positives far out weigh the challenge and a little extra time on the train lets me get on top of my uni work!

8. As a young Project Manager where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I will be a graduate from my Bachelors of Construction Project Management, I hope to have gained plenty of experience in the Quantity Surveying sector and also started to gain experience in the Project Management side of the company as well. It would be great to still be at Donald Cant Watts Corke and grow within the company, possibly exploring the idea of working in Melbourne or another one of our offices around Australia.

9. What advice/tips would you give to future Quantity Surveying / Project Management Cadets?

To fully embrace the opportunity that has been given to you and approach every project, challenge and success as a learning opportunity. Be willing to ask questions and be willing to be wrong, as a Cadet it is okay to make mistakes and everyone around you will be extremely supportive. Just remember the company wants you to succeed and they will be willing to do whatever they can to make your time at Donald Cant Watts Corke as worthwhile as possible.


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