I work for a building company named Mainbrace and am currently working in the Estimating department. I have only been in the Estimating department for about a month although have been given large responsibilities in pricing jobs during the tendering period. A general day for me at the moment would be using our estimating program ‘Buildsoft’ and also measuring jobs to compete with other builders during the tender period. Ensuring that you have good subcontractors that give competitive prices as well as providing an accurate measure is an integral part of the estimating system and can determine whether you win or lose a project. After submitting your final Tender Submission which includes your final price you are often asked by the client to meet and discuss the programme of the job. This involves how you are going to schedule the project so that the client can be open for trading when required. As there are often deadlines to meet it is extremely important that you manage your time well so that you are not stressed in the final stages of submission.
I am originally from the Blue Mountains about an hour west of Sydney. After completing my HSC in 2011 I started University studying a Bachelor of Construction Management. Although I was unsure of how much I would enjoy it I am very happy with my decision. Throughout my university degree I had the opportunity to travel overseas to Europe and also did some labouring for a bricklayer part time. Labouring most definitely gave me an appreciation for the industry and the people that work within it. I also enjoy playing rugby and touch footy and have played in many competitions around NSW. After three years of having a lot of fun post school I decided to get a full-time job in the industry. Being persistent and sending out numerous resumes I finally bagged a job at Mainbrace and have never looked back.
Yes. It is important to know that there are many different backgrounds that are in the industry. As you are a person that has to solve problems there are always going to be people that are harder to deal with than others. It is about how you can adapt to get the most out of the person you are dealing with whether it be a client all the way down to a subcontractor. Occasionally you are going to come across a person that has a very similar background to yours and this makes the whole process easier for both parties.
The thing I love most about my job are the calibre of people. Working long hours can often be tiring although it is made easier by the people that you work around. As I have now worked in Contract Administration and Estimating at Mainbrace I have had the privilege of learning to appreciate each person’s role within the company. Another task that I enjoy is the tendering process, meeting with subcontractors to speak about their particular trades and then negotiating a fair and reasonable price that suits both parties. Work can be very stressful at times although it is positive to know that you are most definitely a huge asset to your project teams and not just another number in the books.
Through the graduate programme at Mainbrace you have the opportunity to be involved in all areas of building. My experience being a Contract Administrator was very positive as you are given a mentor to help you with any questions that you may have. Throughout my experience in Contract Administration I started with being given small tasks such as document management and after a year was given my own job under a very helpful and positive Project Manager. I must admit under the Estimating rotation you do get thrown in the deep end a bit. The biggest limitations are the ones that you put on yourself it is important to be assertive and ask a lot of questions, there are always people willing to give you a hand.
If I was to go back to when I first finished school I would tell myself to do a lot more travelling. Although I have had the privilege to go to Europe I think I could have been more proactive and could have travelled a bit more. There is still definitely time to do this although I now have a lot more responsibilities. I definitely recommend not rushing into things to quickly, enjoy Uni life and get a job at the end of your degree. The other thing I will say is that you do not have to be the smartest person in your classes to do well in the industry. Work hard and people will recognise the positive attributes that you have.