Age 28

Where are you based at the moment (who do you work for)?

I currently work for Unispace Limited in Auckland, New Zealand

In what year did you complete your honours degree?


What path did you follow before ending up with your current company?

I accepted a role as Site Engineer for ALEC (Al Jaber Engineering & Construction) in Doha, Qatar straight out of University working as a package manager on the Doha Festival City project. Thereafter I got offered a role as Planning Manger for Mace Group on the V&A Waterfront Silo Precinct in Cape Town, South Africa. I progressed into my role as Project Manager towards 2017. Post completion of the Silo Precinct I joined the Mace Head Office in Johannesburg at the start of 2018. After completing the JP Morgan Head office, I made the decision to immigrate to New Zealand. I was offered a role as a Project Manager at Unispace Limited in Auckland, New Zealand.

What is your current position and what does the role entail?

Project Manager, I currently manage and execute multiple fast-tracked projects. The projects are fixed price and as such involve heavy coordination with our inhouse design team, external consultants, and trades to ensure the “Best & Final Offer” presented to the client has no risk to the overall budget during delivery. I operate as the single point for contact to the client managing the entire project from inception to handover. The roles involves design, programme, cost, procurement, delivery, H&S and contract management.

What advice would you give a current construction management student?

The construction industry is adrenaline fuelled fast passed industry that prays on the weak. Emotional Intelligence will probably be the best skill to develop during your years at Uni. Learn how to engage with project stakeholders confidently and convincingly. Ultimately, we operate to manage and mitigate issue and risks. In practice, you will be faced with these daily.

The below quote highlights so much of what we face as Project Mangers in construction:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.” - Rumsfeld

Remember there is always a solution to a problem. It how you manage it that’s important. Focus your time at Uni to develop these skills and learn not to fear confrontation.

Take time to understand each phase of the project life cycle. I know it seems tedious but understanding the dynamic and knowledge areas for each phase will help you once you get started on a project.

Entitlement needs to be avoided at all costs. Get stuck in and learn. Engage the senior guys on the project and don’t hesitate to learn from the tradesman on site. Stick up your hand to do the Saturday shift if required. Trust me it pays off. You will develop as a PM and stand out amongst the rest.

What was your favourite module?

I had a few favourites:

  • Commercial & Property Law
  • Professional Practice
  • Structures,
  • Environmental Studies
  • Construction Management

Who was your favourite lecturer?

Prof. John Smallwood.

Informative and entertaining lectures.

If you have not gotten a lecture on the military, you have not engaged him enough.

What are your plans for the next 5 to 10 years?

Professional Development:

  • Senior PM in the next 2 years
  • Director in the next 5 years
  • Start my own business within next 10 - 12 years