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Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics
I was a bricklayer for 15 years… I got to the age where I thought this is the only thing I know how to do, maybe I should do some studies to broaden my options. I enrolled in a Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics. The last two years of my studies, I was employed as a Construction Coordinator for a small company. It was really multiple roles merged into one. The hours were long and there was a lot of stress, so I thought it might be best to look at other options.
Working for the Government was something I was really interested in… The work-life balance of government was very attractive compared to the environment where I had spent much of my working life. I was interested in finding a fit where I could feel like I was making a difference and not come home every day feeling spent. With this in mind, I put my name on the Graduate Register towards the end of my last year of studies (2015). I didn’t specifically apply for this department. In February 2016 I got an email from Housing SA asking me if I would like to come in for an interview. I knew after the interview that I was set on the job with Housing SA. I did get offered a couple of jobs in the same week but was rapt to take up the offer with Housing SA.
The work and the people have been great… If I stayed in construction, it would have been hard to step into something else. You can get locked into the first thing you choose. Something I like about government is there is the room to move, more opportunities. The people in Housing SA have been very supportive. I’ve had opportunities to go out to some of the Indigenous communities, and I’ve gone out with staff to look at the vacant property process, as well as occupied properties.
In the short amount of time I’ve been with Housing SA… I’ve been working on a project to improve maintenance processes. I’m responsible for improving the determination of maintenance jobs. This will assist how jobs are assigned to contractors (including the materials required and the labour breakdown), and will ultimately provide Housing SA with a better understanding of the cost involved in each job.
My advice for prospective graduates is to… spend time on the Graduate Register application and prepare for the interview. It’s good to have some volunteer work under your belt. And research the department you want to get into. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. The Graduate Program is short so the more you can get into, the more you can learn.