What's your job about?
I am currently completing the graduate program for Mainbrace Constructions, Sydney. Mainbrace is a specialist retail builder and is responsible for delivering various projects, such as store fitouts and refurbishments (Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, etc.), bulky goods warehouses (Costco) and new shopping centre developments (Narellan Town Centre). Mainbrace manages the various trades during construction for the client and ensure that a high quality result is achieved so that all stakeholders are happy.
As part of the Mainbrace Graduate Program you will spend time within each of the departments to get a holistic understanding of the company. Currently I am finishing my rotation within the Estimating department and have gained a wealth of knowledge in the tendering and post tender stages of a project. Daily tasks include reviewing tender documents, creating packages for subcontractors to price, preparing a bill of quantities for each project, liaising with subcontractors, preparing tender submissions and negotiating during the post tender period with the client. During my rotation within the Estimating department I have worked on numerous projects which has given me exposure to the various types of projects that Mainbrace is involved in.
What's your background?
After completing high school, I accepted my first preference to study a Bachelor of Construction Management degree at Western Sydney University. Many of my family members are involved in the construction industry so it was a move in the right direction for me. Soon after starting university I applied for an undergraduate position at a Quantity Surveying firm and continued to work and study there for the next three years. As I neared the end of my studies however I felt that only working client-side would limit my knowledge and wanted to broaden my experience within the industry and felt working for a builder would be appropriate. I then applied to Mainbrace for the graduate program and have been working here for over a year! In that one year I have already spent time onsite on one of our major projects and am presently working in the Estimating department.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
While I believe a lot of the skills needed to work within the construction industry can be learnt while you are working (in the office and onsite), a basic understanding of construction is required. Basic skills can be carried over from other careers or even everyday life such as time management and problem solving, however these skills will need to be applied to a specific issue which requires a basic knowledge of construction.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about my job is winning a tender (who doesn’t like winning!). Not only do you get self-gratification but you have contributed to the company which is providing you with this learning experience. After winning a tender you can then follow up with the project team and watch as the project comes to life.
What are the limitations of your job?
The construction industry as a whole can be very demanding, particularly working for a builder. It involves long days where you are required to maintain a high level of concentration for the majority of the time and if you are not an organized person you could be working nights. Mainbrace has a work-life culture that encourages you to work Monday – Friday, however it is not uncommon to find a few people in the office on a Saturday morning finishing off work.
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