Stephanie

Site Engineer
Construction

What are some of the coolest things you like about working in your industry?

Being able to have a labour of love transform from 2D lines on a page, to a physical building that people can experience and having some of the smartest most innovative minds in the room to problem solve together.

What successful strategies have you used that have helped you transition to working in a non-traditional industry?

Don’t let a narrative limit your belief in what you can do. Be absolutely consistent in showing up every single day to be curious and to genuinely learn. If you do that, people around you will want to impart their knowledge on you because you’ve showed that you value the work and you’ve earned their knowledge.

In school what subjects did you enjoy most or were good at?

I really loved Mathematical Methods and Chemistry.

What are your qualifications?

Bachelor of Commerce (Majoring in Accounting), Diploma of Management, Cert IV in Building and Construction, Bachelor of Project Construction Management.

What advice would you give to others ( girls/women) about following careers in non-traditional industries?

What is holding you back? If you can’t come up with 10 proper reasons why you shouldn’t work in a non-traditional industry, then you’re just letting fear and your limiting beliefs holding you back from prospering. And if you can let the fear hold you back in making this decision, it will continue to hold you back even if you’re working in traditional industries.

We’d love you to share how you are making your own mark?

I was the co-founding President the Built Environment Association at UTS which is the first and official society for UTS students studying Architecture, Property, and Construction. Given I’m graduating I’ve passed my role onto the new 2023 executive team. https://www.builtenvironmentassociation.com.au.

Late last year, I launched my new podcast “I’m Figuring It Out” where I share my learnings from those around me and also from my past experiences on how I’m navigating the many ups and downs of life. The last 2 episodes, I discussed my experiences working as a Woman in Construction, and next month I’ll be interviewing my female idol Alison Mirams on her journey to success. https://open.spotify.com/show/4aZ4BDK4A62SCRGtzF1DNs?si=9c213f8749424

How did you get started in your career pathway and what helped you along your career journey?

I never thought one day I would work in construction. In fact, the whole of high school I really wanted to be a management consultant and work for the likes of Bain & Co, Mckinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and KPMG. I only fell into construction because I desperately needed work experience and my auntie who owns a small joinery business, needed a bookkeeper to help her so I volunteered. After a couple of months, I realised that bookkeeping was not something I liked doing. It wasn’t stimulating or challenging so I started helping the project manager at the time with small but valuable tasks. I’d get stone quotes, procure joinery accessories, greet potential clients in our showroom, draft up their kitchens in Camaster, and that’s when I realised I really wanted to be apart of this industry.

I didn’t know though what roles there were for women in construction. At the time, the only official roles that women played were accounts, receptionist, marketing, HR, and I thought the only way I could be a part of it was to be on the tools.

I remember in my last year of university, I actually got accepted into KPMG. It was quite ironic because the times when I really wanted to get accepted, I got rejected. Yet the one time I realised what my career passion was, I got accepted into the Big 4 in a consulting role. Given that I had studied Commerce, I decided to accept that opportunity otherwise I felt I would’ve wasted 4 years of studying on a degree I’d never fulfill BUT, after 1 month I decided to leave. I just had a gut feeling that I really wanted to be in the construction industry. I tried to apply for the Multiplexes, Lendlease, Icon etc but I didn’t have a degree in Project Construction Management. I tried to take shortcuts by working for smaller construction companies but found myself learning bad practices and processes. So in 2020, I decided to go back to university and fulfill my passions properly. I studied a Bachelor of Project Construction Management at the University of Technology Sydney and co-founded the Built Environment Association, the first Faculty Society for Built Environment students at UTS. This year, I will be graduating after a long but truly fulfilling journey. Through all this, of course I had my doubts. Of course, I felt like I was falling behind everyone around me by switching careers and going back to studying years later. Of course, I was worried about whether I made the right decision. There was truly a time where I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I felt so much pressure in having to decide that once I graduated from my first degree. But I’m glad and grateful that my continuous drive to learn and be curious has allowed me to collect random but helpful skills that I store in my toolbox for the perfect opportunity. I’m glad I followed my gut. Everything always ends up working out.

As long as you keep trying to get closer to what feels right for you and your goals, then you’ll always be on a path of success.

 

 

 

 

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