PROFILE:

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Get first hand experiences and stories
from some of our most recent graduates.

Kirk Thompson

What's your job about? 

I am currently engaged on the Aurora Melbourne Central project, which at 92 storeys will become Melbourne CBD’s tallest residential building and will feature direct access to the underground Melbourne Central city loop train station while producing 1211 apartments. 

After starting in the Probuild graduate program at the beginning of 2017, I successfully completed the Design Coordination module and am now carrying out the Site Coordination module. This role generally involves responsibility for the safety of construction personnel, as well as for the quality of work performed and some coordination of tasks generally originating from design. A typical day involves completion of all of the pre-concrete pour inspections and reports, along with closing out any items flagged by the consulting engineer. Additionally the implementation of HSE and maintaining of documentation are all daily items, as well as anything project required. 

The basis for our quality inspections, and in particular for concrete pours, is to ensure that the site activities such as installation of reinforcement, post tensioning, formwork and columns are completed as intended in the design. This involves strict quality control against the documentation to ensure compliance and conformance with the design.  

What's your background?

I have been fortunate enough to grow up in metropolitan Melbourne in the suburb of Essendon. There are six of us in the family in which three of us are triplets and are all now actively engaged within the construction industry. 

I attended St. Bernard’s College in Essendon where I graduated VCE in 2011 and completed work experience as an electrician and architect during my studies. Upon graduating high school I was fairly unsure on where I wanted to steer my career but had a decent interest in project management and construction projects so I decided I wanted to study at university. I was successfully enrolled into the Diploma of Building and Construction at RMIT in which I completed in 2013. This course allowed me to confirm my interest in the construction industry whilst gaining a solid knowledge base in both commercial and domestic construction.

During the period of the diploma from 2012 to 2013 I laboured for a domestic builder which was fantastic and provided some great exposure to the industry. After considering a career in domestic building, I decided that I was more inspired by larger scale projects which lead me to enrol in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management) at RMIT. Whilst completing my degree I received my first job in the commercial sector which involved estimating and coordination with a Tier-1 subcontractor. This role allowed me to gain a major understanding of the attention to detail, people management and ethics within the industry which upon reflection I am very fortunate to have done. 

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, I believe someone with a different background could work in construction management. I believe there are many characteristics which can be applied from a vast range of roles, with an emphasis being placed on communication, time management, attention to detail and people management. I think it is important to remember that construction managers aren’t necessarily consultants who design and document activities, but are rather problem solvers who are proactive and supportive. Therefore, I believe that as long as a candidate possess the above mentioned characteristics they could work in construction management, with an understanding of the industry being beneficial but not necessary. 

Probuild provides its employees with an excellent exposure to the industry and helps fill knowledge gaps through providing a comprehensive framework of processes and procedure systems for its operations. 

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Ultimately the coolest aspect about our job is the opportunity provided by Probuild to work on some of country's most fascinating and complex projects. As fortunate as I am to participate on the Aurora Melbourne Central project, the concept of a 92-storey building, over a city loop train tunnel right in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD is insane. I am still inspired on my journey in to work day in day out of the prospect of contributing to a high performing team on the biggest residential project in Melbourne. 

The most rewarding portion of the job is definitely the transformation of a design intent into a tangible product which can be measured daily. A lot of hard work, passion and dedication goes into construction management which are generally reflected in the morale of construction teams which are then correlated into finished products. Probuild has a great family of employees, who all brand the construction process to be super enjoyable. 

What are the limitations of your job?

The biggest limitation of working in construction management is being able to manage a good work life balance. The expectations of the job are rather unique compared to a standard 9-5, where you are generally in early in the morning and are sometimes required to work weekends.

One thing that Probuild must be credited for is their understanding in achieving a work life balance and they are fairly accepting of participation in activities outside of work. 

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Enjoy life and always remember the sun will come up the next day! I think in general it is important to enjoy life and challenges and remember that if something doesn’t go your way or you don’t get the result you desired, the sun will still come up and it can be rectified or fixed.
  2. Get experience and network. Experience is generally the key to having a successful career and knowledge base, so if you get the opportunity to be involved within the industry make sure you jump at anything that is given to you. Anything life related or industry related by employment or voluntary looks super on the CV and is generally the most criticised aspect of any job application. 
  3. Travel. Travel is the one thing you can do when you’re young and are free from many of the life responsibilities you gain as you grow older! Being at university offers you nearly 20 weeks of holiday time a year so make most of the time while you have it! 

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