What's your job about?
I am an Estimating Cadet for Kane Constructions (Melbourne) and work alongside the estimating department under the guidance of a Senior Estimator (my mentor). I assist him with submitting tenders for both VIC jobs as well as the ACT. The tasks I perform each day vary, as it is dependent upon the amount of tenders we are working on simultaneously and what stage each tender is at. My duties include splitting tender documents, sending out packages, liaising with subcontractors and suppliers, attending tender briefings, measuring etc. The key element with estimating is that although each tender is different to the last, you practice the same methods and processes and therefore approach each tender similarly. This allows you to build confidence in your abilities, reflect on areas of improvement and find a more effective way of doing something for the next tender. Over time you build a relationship with the estimating subcontractors, which is fundamental in creating open communication lines.
What's your background?
I completed my Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) with RMIT at the end of 2016, and progressed into the Bachelor of Applied Science Project Management. I began working at Kane Constructions March 2017, and work 3 days a week during the semester and then full time on the semester breaks. During my final semester of the Diploma, I was fortunate enough to be nominated for an award which was sponsored by Kane due to my academic performance. Out of those students nominated, Kane selected me as the winner of their award, and I was privileged to meet with several Kane directors and their Chief Project Manager. From there on I kept in contact with Kane and expressed my eagerness to work for their company which I admired and aspired to be a part of whilst I completed my studies. My journey on getting to where I am now hasn’t been as straight forward as others, especially as a female, however, the challenges I have overcome throughout the years have taught me primary skills and resilience which I strongly believe are required to succeed in this industry.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
I believe some level of tertiary education and construction related experience is required for this role as a minimum. Any trade or onsite experience is valuable as you are able to interpret the plans more comprehensively and visualise how a task is performed and therefore what trades you need to acquire, how you would measure the plans, what additional equipment may be required etc.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I enjoy going out to the tender briefings because you get more of an insight into the task at hand, what exactly the clients are looking for, what obstacles you may have to overcome, trades to priorities and more. The challenge aspect is enjoyable for me, especially when you win a difficult tender, that sense of accomplishment is very rewarding. Beginning in estimating allows you to work on and measure an abundance of projects which teaches you what to look out for on plans, how to interpret and understand them properly, and from the information gathered which trades you need to communicate that too. I believe a person can only evolve if they are being challenged, and that is what you get here. At Kane you feel very much a part of the team, the culture and great calibre of people here make it that much more enjoyable to come into work, and the many social events held throughout the year are an added bonus.
What are the limitations of your job?
Time management is crucial, especially during busy tender periods which can clash with end of semester assignment submissions and exam prep. Therefore I would strongly advise that you reflect on your current commitments and time management and ask yourself what sacrifices are you willing to make, and can you handle the additional responsibility without there being a negative impact?
3 pieces of advice for other student...