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Tony Froio grew up in Sydney and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Structural) with Honours from the University of Technology in 1993. His father and uncle were both involved in the construction industry, and from an early age Tony had an interest in this sector.
Tony’s first foray into engineering was a part-time role with a small consulting engineering firm whilst studying. Times were tough in construction at the time so Tony built relationships with senior construction professionals and stayed in regular contact with them. This resulted in him being offered a role with Transfield, an operations, maintenance and construction services business.
Tony was willing to be flexible in where he worked and what projects he worked on. This led to him being placed on a couple of regional projects within the Northern Territory and North Queensland.
“These projects were interesting and quite complicated,” Tony says, “some included mine site civil works construction, a coal wharf extension and heavy civil infrastructure jobs.”
Tony believed that this helped him to learn quickly. Being willing to work regionally placed him in good stead within the business, which eventually led to him being rewarded with a Sydney role in the building arm of Transfield, working on apartment and bridge projects.
In 1997, he was offered an opportunity with Lend Lease. Initially he worked on Darling Park Stage 2, with heavy traffic management interface and the project involved a high level of detailing and planning. His success in this project led to him working on other complicated projects such as a 26-storey high-end residential high-rise development over a busy railway station. This was for an external developer.
Tony’s next role in 2002 saw him delivering the Jacksons Landing Distillery Hill project (stage one) for client Lend Lease Development. This project comprised of two 20-level towers and three low rise apartment blocks (a total of 213 high quality apartments) valued at over $100 million. This was his first role as a construction manager, which Tony describes as “a baptism of fire”. This was one of the most challenging times in his career, but Tony believes that he learned a lot during this period. He worked on a smaller rail project for a short time and then relocated to Brisbane in 2006.
In his next career step, Tony took on a role as the Construction Manager/Managing Contractors Representative for two correctional centres at Wacol. This was a two year project valued at over $165 million. He enjoyed this role, as the high security interface issues meant he had the opportunity to work on some innovative construction techniques (one prison was also fully functional during this period). This project won two awards, the AIB Building Excellence Award (for projects greater than $100 million) and the Master Builders Award (for projects greater than $100 million).
Tony moved to Laing O’Rourke in 2008 to work on 123 Albert Street, Brisbane. This was a 32-level premium office tower, which at the time was the largest commercial six star green star design rated building in Australia. This was one of the reasons Tony was attracted to the project. After successful completion of this project, Tony worked on the front end of some new projects and decided to leave when the work flow within the building sector slowed down.
Tony has recently accepted a position with Grocon to head up their construction division for Queensland. Tony is excited about the opportunity to work with a national private developer that focuses on delivering innovative high quality projects.
Tony’s advice to young people starting out a career in property and construction would be to find something that you are really passionate about and make sure your career follows that path.
“I know it sounds a bit like a cliché,” Tony says, “but I have always been passionate about construction and excited about the projects that I have worked on. It is my belief that if you are not passionate, you will not be a high performer.”
Tony also feels that during times in your career there will be parts of the job that you love and parts of the role that you dislike. However, if overall you are truly passionate this will help you to stay determined and focused and working hard towards your goals.
The secrets to success
We asked Tony what separates good construction executives from others and he said that although technical skills and understanding process is important, the greatest skill (and also the greatest challenge) comes from dealing with, managing and working with people.
“You may have strong technical skills but if you can’t actively engage and communicate what needs to be done to the people around you, you won’t be effective,” he says.
Tony’s advice to young professionals is to not only invest in developing your technical skills but to make sure that developing your interpersonal skills is a high priority.
The part Tony enjoys most in his role is seeing the tangible results of buildings being completed, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes when you are able to bring in all stakeholders (including clients, consultants, contractors, suppliers, authorities, adjoining neighbours and internal team) to work together to focus on project outcomes. When you are able to do that, you are able to build relationships that last well beyond the life of any project
Richard grew up in Toowoomba, and because he enjoyed maths and science at school, Richard decided to study engineering. He completed a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Civil) and was the first one in his family to take this path. He moved to Brisbane and took a role with a small engineering consultancy. After two and a half years, he decided that there was no opportunity for further growth in that firm and that he didn’t necessarily want to be an engineer.
This lead to him exploring opportunities in other areas, and in 1993 he attended an interview and was offered a role as a junior project manager with Australand (at which at the time was called Australian Housing and Land). In this role, he was working on land subdivision projects around South-East Queensland. It was a new role in the business and over time he gradually took on additional responsibility, learnt the ropes and was given more autonomy. He was pleased that he was given some hands-on supervision by experienced managers. Over the next three years Richard became proficient in project management and delivery.
In 1997, the company became Australand, and Richard’s role expanded to include not only looking after a greater number of projects, but also to include upfront work (i.e. his role expanded from pure project management to development activities) and soon after he began to get involved in acquiring new sites. In 2000, he was officially promoted in to a more senior management role which included responsibilities in the sales and marketing parts of the business, and also encompassing different regions (expanded territory).
In 2004, Richard was given the responsibility of the Housing Construction Division. At this stage, he was managing a team of approximately 25 staff. After proving himself in this role, he was promoted in to the role of General Manager for Queensland, covering Land, Housing and Apartments. At this stage he was responsible for over 50 staff, and 8 projects.
In 2006, Richard was given the opportunity to move to Perth to take on Australand’s biggest project. This project was worth $1.5 billion and encompassed a wide variety of infrastructure including bridges, arterial roads, and significant reclamation of ocean to create a man made marina and islands. The project was Port Coogee.
Richard made the decision to move to Perth because he was aware that working in the one business, in one location might not be the best for career development and sought the opportunity to consider other opportunities to broaden his experience. In addition to delivering significant profit to the business, he learnt invaluable experience through being exposed to a different market, a different planning regime and a different way of doing business.
Historically (because of being separate from the rest of the country) Richard found that there was a planning regime and engineering processes that encouraged innovative thinking. It had also been a depressed market for some time prior to the boom and tough markets tend to encourage innovation. Richard felt that he learned and grew professionally significantly through this period. The extreme complex nature of all aspects of the project (including financing and variety of product) meant that it would fill any gaps in his experience.
In 2010, he returned to Brisbane as General Manager for Queensland. At the moment key projects for Australand include:
Richard enjoys the challenges of a difficult property market, which means that you have to be creative and work hard for everything you get. He is also proud of the team and enjoys the people he works with.
What advice would Richard give to young people in property?
“I would advise young people in development to broaden their skill base as quickly as possible.”
Richard himself undertook an MBA majoring in marketing, as he realised it would be good to have technical skills in areas outside of his engineering capacity.
“Understanding the market is key to success in property development. Study in different areas or get exposure each area so that as you move through your career, your requirement to be technically strong in a small sphere is not as important – it’s better to have a broader understanding of a variety of topics/disciplines.”
When hiring staff, Richard values cultural fit as highly as technical competency. He looks for long term employees and he believes that values and attitude are harder to teach than skills. He says that he would also choose a candidate that had worked on smaller projects, but had more exposure to the full life cycle than someone who had worked on a large project, but only got exposed to one small part of it.
“Also remember that the property market is cyclical, and everyone in it needs to understand that. For someone young starting out, I would also say that it’s not necessary to work within a very large team, it’s more about the people that you are working with and exposed to. I would encourage everyone to seek a good mentor and make sure you are surrounded by good quality people”.
At todays Career One presentation on attracting and retaining talent for 2012, CareerOne undertook a survey (which they have been doing for the last 5 years). Sadly, one of the most negative responses came from the Property and Construction industry. Overall, 91% of property and construction workers surveyed were open to making a move, with 25% reporting being active in their job hunt. Other factors included workers reporting a lack of leadership from management, and a lack of recognition for their achievements. Their satisfaction with pay was also lower than average.
In contrast, Mining and Resources reported that 43% of workers were coping comfortably on their incomes, however most had some concern about the economy. The median time that workers intended to stay in their role has doubled since 2011, and they are feeling more comfortable about job security overall. Satisfaction with management and the team did fall dramatically however. In addition, there was a significant increase in people willing to move/relocate for the right opportunity. 22% of this group were active job seekers.
CareerOne also had an interesting perspective on the “two speed ecomony” theory. Rather than a two speed, they suggested that there is in fact a “three speed economy” in Australia when it comes to employment specifically.
The first speed are the booming sectors: Mining, Oil&Gas, Energy, Technology and professional services relating to those sectors.
The second speed they described as “steady” which was mainly government centric and included sectors such as Health, Eduction, Charity and Social Services.
The final speed was described as “under pressure” and included manufacturing, logistics, property, retail and sales.
This year the Nielson design lecture surpassed itself. Having attended the inaugural design lecture (and every one since) it is an anticipated event in my annual calendar.
The signature lecture series is a collaboration between Nielson Properties and the State Library of Queensland and features internationally renowned speakers. This year the speaker was Bruce Mau. He can only be described as a visionary (Bruce describes himself as a futurist) and the lecture was both thought provoking and poignant. The auditorium was packed full, with an overflow of people watching a live stream. The many high profile guests included the Hon. Rachel Nolan, Minister for Finance, Natural Resources and the Arts, who introduced Bruce and also spoke about the importance of the Arts in Brisbane’s culture.
Bruce began by saying that his lecture would focus on problems and opportunities. From his time in Brisbane he had observed that there is a culture here that is quite special, and a calibre of work happening in Brisbane that is excellent. As a designer, he believes we need to think about our world as a design project. “The world is a thing that we make, not something that we live in.”
Bruce started his career as a communications designer. At the time, people were still using hot metal presses. Computers were new on to the market. The photocopier was a huge innovation – and fax was also new. Bruce said he saw a transforming context, and mapped out the landscape around him. People called him a futurist, and he said that even at the beginning of his career, he believed in a future better than what currently exists. His career developed and began to focus on education, working with key leaders in fields such as engineering, city design, IT, and FMCG. He was an avid reader, and was also personally interested in how science and art came together.
His first book project was “Zone” – which was about how to design a city. Through that process he met Rem Koolhass and they collaborated on his second book, S,M,L,XL – a book that presents a history of the remarkable visionary design work produced by the Dutch firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture along with a variety of insightful, poetic writings.
Some interesting projects that Bruce was engaged in included the design of Seattle library where they decided that every decision must be democratic, and opened every meeting to the public. They started with 10 attendees to meetings, and this grew to over 1,000. The project was about the design but also the people. He was also involved in creating a new university of biodiversity in Panama – interestingly the scale of investment for this project for the country was in scale by economy similar to 40 Getty Museums.
Bruce has also worked very closely with major brands such as Coca Cola. Sustainability is a huge focus for them, and he was instrumental in coming up with their “Live Positively”’ campaign. Because Coke is a true global brand, they aim to produce and contribute to the communities that they are part of. There is no place in the world where there is not Coke. This means that they need to care about everywhere – there is no where that they can “dump” because there is Coke in every part of the world.
Bruce was also invited to take part in planning Mecca – they asked him to plan for the next 20 years….. Bruce’s response was that they need to plan for the next 1,000 years and to consider that we are often planning around technology that is about to die’’ – for example: the car!
Other ideas Bruce spoke about included:
- We could soon reach peak oil demand – we have no ownership of any other industry therefore we need to focus on sustainability and think about a post oil economy
- The experience of education as a design problem (he is currently working with Arizona State University and wrote a manifesto for the new American University)
- Driving entrepreneurial learning – building large groups of people to work on problems
- Michael Crow the President of the Arizona State University undertook a study which shows that the best predictor of SAT score sadly, is zipcode. An Amercia, where economy translates into race, is not a place that Bruce is happy to accept.
- We are adding a million people to the earth a week, and doubling our capacity in technology every year (think about it, 2 complete new Brisbane’s every month!)
- Things are changing so fast – the computer brain at the moment is approaching the capacity of a small mouse. By 2050 it is predicted that computers will have the same capacity as all human brains combined
- Most of our experience is that environments are designed. We need to understand design economics and how they are produced and designed. Is there an agenda or direction on economy of movement?
- We are producing 50 billion images a week
- We are redefining wealth. We have a wealth of capital. Traditional. Now we are adding the wealth of information etc and ways that reflect new ways
- We are living through a revolution that is troubling – we have now the capacity to shape nature itself. Do we dare to do it right? Or do we destroy it?
Bruce went on to talk about design being our responsibility and that we need to re-invent everything we do. He said that the #1 challenge of every CEO is creativity. Sadly (and shockingly) the percentage of the world that has accessed education over high school is only 1%. This means that we are trying to create a revolution just with the one percent. In Bruce’s opinion, we are looking at the wrong way – we need to look at the 99% percent. That is why he was in Brisbane – to deliver this message.
Bruce thinks this may represent the greatest opportunity in human history – If we change the way we think we can make a staggering difference – and we will change the way we live and work. Bruce’s small goal is to change the goals of our civic design thinking and the way that we design and produce practically everything we do. He acknowledges that it’s not something that we know how to do yet, and so much of our talk about sustainability has put people off and made them feel self righteous or guilty. Bruce stated that he is not interested at all in climate change and who or what caused it. He is only interested in the possibilities (and here was my favourite quote of the evening) “not because we should, but because we can”.
On 1 November 2011 we crossed over the seven Billion people in the world mark, and since then have added an additional four million people. Bruce believes that climate change complicates things, but what we now I’d that they are that complex to predict.
One million new children this week is predictable. As a designer, Bruce stated that he sees the world upside down:
“Bad is good, terrible is awesome.” This is because through negativity there is possibility. With the population growth that is occurring, there will be 23 Australia’s by the end of the decade under the age of ten searching for the things that we have. The children are coming, there is no doubt.
Bruce stated that we must re-design everything.
Some of the major issues are:
- Water – our current water useage structure is like a toilet. Natural systems slow down the movement of water. We are working opposing to nature. We efficiently trash into our food and water supply. This could be catastrophic.
- In the Pacific – we have a floating island of plastic twice the size of Texas.
- Mexico City is sinking. Since 1936 it has dropped 36 feet. If we deplete this aquifer there will be 20 million refugees.
- To cool ourselves in the dessert and in hot climates we set a barrel of oil on fire. Our strategy about the environment has been an unmitigated disaster.
- We don’t know how much oil we burn – we make it invisible
- We have topped out on our interest in sustainability. We are not going to solve this problem by punishing people into action
- A freeway is a toxic river of fire. We are living on a toxic river of fire with an explosive end. We design to lose. If we want to compete with cars we have to design to win.
As a designer, Bruce sees opportunities. He ended his lecture with a hugely positive focus. He suggested:
- What about if we think of Brisbane as an ecology and try to make our output as clean as our input
- Imagine redesigning Brisbane with a carbon footprint of zero and a global market for our design
- We have done little to apply design for our need for shelter. We have invented lifts – why are we still sprawling horizontally instead of vertically
- We could design Brisbane as a new way for civic life. He wondered if we should keep one percent for art?
- What if we had a 99% for art? Would people visit Venice if they had 1 percent for art?
- We need to engage in new power and possibilities. Imagine a global market of 99 percent with access to education beyond high school, committed to this global enlightenment – that is why Bruce is here.
With such an enlightening, and powerful lecture, followed by amazing drinks and canapés at Santos Place (6 green stars) overlooking our beautiful city, it is no wonder that this series has been the QLD winner for the Australian BusinessArts foundations SME partnership award 2 years running
Come along to this event…..
I recently undertook a survey of mining maintenance professionals to find out what they consider to be the key issues facing our sector at the moment. There were some very interesting responses, so I thought that I would highlight some of them.
These were some of the key issues raised:
Without a doubt the main influence to operations on all mine sites. Some feedback around this issue was the importance of safety and ensuring that all work orders are completed within a safe and procedural manner (with considerations of new employees and contractors coming on and off site). The phrase of “Zero Harm” was mentioned a few times; something I found really interesting on this topic was a recent presentation by Jaime Ross who spoke at the Australian Mine Managers Conference in July.
Jaime talked about the focus of Zero Harm and the negative impacts of trying to achieve it in a workplace as an ultimate goal. In summary he mentioned that the ‘Zero Harm’ safety model diverts our attention to eradicate the finer and more simplistic safety hazards in the workplace like paper cuts and potential abrasions rather than a focus on the major hazards that could result in LTI’s and or fatalities. To listen to Jaime’s speech click Part 1 or Part 2.
Does the safety focus in the mining industry need a revamp or redirection?
2. Shortage in critical spares & parts
With the mining industry putting the brakes put on in 2009/10 by in preparation of the ‘GFC” manufacturers were required to slow and even stop production. A quick turnaround in the past 12 to 18 months has seen the equipment supply industry faced with unprecedented orders and year long waiting periods. Realistic goals of minimizing the impact of this issue rather than a focus on eliminating it altogether seems to be the best method of approach. Implementing and developing lean six sigma capabilities will enhance the successful minimization for shortage of spares through forecasting and fostering business relationships with suppliers.
A question I pose here is: Are there other strategies currently be tried and tested and more-so are their strategies that are proving to be effective?
3. Skill shortages
This topic to no one’s surprise was mentioned in every response to the questionnaire.
Rather than point the finger at the lack of skill in the industry I have the following three questions:
- Does the industry divert the attention to the lack of investment in innovative long term strategies to bring apprentices through a industry wide structured system?
- Does the mining industry work on the development of a framework for bridging courses to up-skill mechanical or electrical tradespersons/engineers from similar industries?
- Does the mining industry need to introduce contract clauses so that tenure constraints accompany the completion of your trade/degree?
Aligning with key industry bodies, RTO’s and recruitment providers are some of the current strategies in the market but are these strategies a short term option or should the industry look at the bigger picture?
4. Work life balance
FIFO versus residential rosters enhance the complications around retention and attraction of project crucial positions in the mining industry. Particularly superintendant, manager and project manager level candidates find themselves weighing family life versus career progression. Company issues lie in the perception of the public eye and local community investment. I recommend reading the following article which presents the finding of the a research report on employee turnover released by the Centre for a Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) and the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre (MISHC). http://www.csrm.uq.edu.au/docs/RB&DC03_FIFO.pdf
I welcome any and all feedback on the above topics.
Alison Quinn is one of Queensland’s most experienced senior property executives. She has achieved extraordinary success in a predominantly male-dominated industry and is highly regarded by her peers for her commitment, perseverance and determination to succeed.
Alison’s journey through the industry has led her to her current role as Executive General Manager for Sanctuary Cove, Australia’s leading masterplanned residential resort community where she has presided over millions of dollars in sales activity and the transformation of the community by owner Mulpha.
As an active member of a number of committees and boards, Ms Quinn currently holds the position of Chair, Urban Renewal for the Brisbane City Council and is on the board of Urban Futures. Most recently Alison also left her mark on the Brisbane Powerhouse Centre for Live Arts, where she has been a Director and Chair since its opening 11 years ago.
Alison secured her start in the property industry working for AVJennings at just 19 years of age. From there, she moved into the finance sector at Beneficial Finance and was fortunate to work for Chris Freeman, the former CEO of one of Australia’s leading publicly listed property companies Mirvac. She believes this experience gave her a base understanding of the financial drivers of projects.
“Working at Beneficial Finance gave me a core understanding of the financial drivers of the property industry,” she says. “These are skills that I continue to use on a daily basis at Sanctuary Cove as we continue to evolve as Australia’s pre-eminent masterplanned community, in what is a very a challenging climate.”
In 1994 Alison made the move to work in the family business, which at that stage was primarily involved in residential subdivisions. This provided Alison with an understanding of property development from acquisition through to delivery and settlement. It was during this period that Alison discovered she had a knack for understanding the property industry.
Alison played a significant role in steering the company into a broader development base. Miller Property Corporation became a pioneer of urban renewal within Brisbane city and participated in a range of joint venture developments in Noosa, where the company delivered over 600 apartments.
Another key development Alison was involved in during this time was The Habitat at Bridgeman Downs, which was an early pioneer for sustainable development, setting the bar sustainability in residential projects, which is now standard in the industry.
In 2002, Alison took a well-earned break and moved overseas with her husband, where they started a family.
By 2004 Alison Quinn joined Austcorp as a Development Manager and 12 months later she was promoted to the position of State Manager. Ms Quinn said that she brought a more holistic, strategic view and a strong sales and marketing strategy to the role. During her time at Austcorp, Alison was responsible for a team of development managers driving the joint venture with Property Solutions of SW1, a great example of urban renewal at South Brisbane. This project was deemed a great success in terms of both timeframe delivery and financial performance.
Alison also oversaw a development at Coomera Waters which encompassed a retail precinct, tavern, medical centre and child care centre, as well as a number of high-end waterfront villas.
Alison was appointed as the Executive General Manager for Sanctuary Cove in 2009 at a crucial time in the Cove’s history. Alison now oversees the entire development on behalf of Mulpha Sanctuary Cove (Developments) Pty Limited and manages a team which includes events, golfing assets and marinas. In her words, it is “something a bit more than a straight property role”.
In addition to being one of Australia’s largest masterplanned developments, Sanctuary Cove has an enormous events calendar, including the annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show which attracts more than 40,000 boating enthusiasts from around the globe.
So what advice would Ms Quinn give to someone starting their career? “Never underestimate the importance of a good mentor. Learn from those around you, ask questions, take criticism and learn from your mistakes,” she says. And perhaps most importantly, “stick with the industry in the down times, because that is when you learn most and innovation flourishes.”
With the market as tough as it is, I often receive calls from students or young people in property asking how they can get their first job, or transition into a new area where they might not have experience. I give the same advice over and over again, but not many seem to take it. Applying to jobs on Seek.com is not going to get you a role when you have no experience. In this market, you need to be prepared to do work experience (often for free) and the only way to secure these positions is through the people you know.
If you don’t have a network, you need to build one. This means stepping outside of your comfort zones, introducing yourself to industry people and asking for the opportunity to come in and help them. Graduating from a property degree with no relevant experience will make it almost impossible to get a role.
Last year I met Michael Stanfield. He is a young up-and-coming property professional, and his story is one that needs to be shared.
Michael has an interesting background – he is the oldest of seven children, and he was home schooled up until grade 9, after which he attended Suncoast Christian College, graduating in 2005. He always had an interest in property – his parents bought their first property at a young age and continued to buy and renovate properties. As the oldest, Michael would often help his father with the renovations, and being home schooled game him the flexibility to work with his Dad.
Michael recalls being 8 years old and pulling carpet tacks out of the floor before sanding and polishing the floorboards. It wasn’t all hard work though – he recalls being allowed to draw all over the wallpaper before peeling it off for painting! Michael and his brothers earned their pocket money undertaking work on the family’s properties such as landscaping, mowing, painting, tiling and concreting.
“When I was 13 years old I helped to renovate three out of four units in a complex that my family owned with a carpenter friend. For grade 10 and 11 we lived in a house we were renovating, which became our beach holiday home. Property was always a part of my life,” he said.
Initially, Michael studied Communications and Marketing, and at the same time he finished a Cert IV in Real Estate (Property) and obtained his full real estate licence at 19 years of age. This helped him to secure a job as an onsite property manager for a 23-townhouse complex. This gave him employment, a place to live and the flexibility he needed to study. When the University of the Sunshine Coast offered a new Property Economics and Development degree, he switched courses.
When Michael had two years to go on the course, he read Outliers, the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell. Throughout the book, Malcolm claims that the key to success is to commit 10,000 hours to something to become a master. Michael decided that his University studies needed to be applied to activities to “get his hours up”.
He began undertaking feasibilities on sites in that were for sale in the newspaper every week. He attended an industry careers night where the guest speakers spoke about making sure you graduate from a degree with industry experience. This inspired him to take a more systematic approach to finding work, and to eventually getting paid work at the end of it.
Michael’s next step was to approach a developer/builder that he had been introduced to through his course, who had bought one of the sites that he had done feasibilities on. Michael offered to come in and show them what he had done, and asked for feedback. He was pleased to discover his feasibility was quite close to what they had decided to do. Michael offered to do work experience for free on any new sites that they were looking at. He asked them email him with any new sites, so he could work up a feasibility as soon as he could.
One of the owners of the business soon emailed a site, and what Michael did next was quite extraordinary.
“I received the email really late in the afternoon” he said. “I really wanted to demonstrate that I was super keen, so I stayed up all night working on different scenarios so I could send it back in the morning. The site didn’t stack up, and I was able to send them a few different scenarios with lots of detail, along with my recommendation to pass on that particular site”. Michael concedes he was able to be quick because he had become comfortable with the town plan over the previous few months and knew important issues to look for.
This lead to the director sending more sites Michael’s way, all of which he worked on for free, finally resulting in an offer of a full time role a month before he graduated. The company is Image Projects Group, a fairly new company that had been in operation for less than two years. Michael was attracted to the company because of the opportunity. “The experience of the two owners is really great. I learn something every time I talk to them” he said.
Michael is now an Assistant Development Manager on the Sunshine Coast. Since graduating, Michael has continued his education by completing the EnviroDevelopment Professional course through UDIA and he is currently finishing the Green Star Accredited Professional and NABERS assessor courses as well. He has also joined the UDIA Urban Edge Committee on the coast, is taking part in the UDIA mentor program, and he has remained a student representative for the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has also joined API and the NEXTGENERATION property group.
Michael’s goals are to continue to grow his experience to become a Development Manager role, or even undertake his own developments. Watch this space!
Michael’s tips for finding a good role:
1. Target people your want to work for and approach them.
2. Be willing to work for free and be specific on the project or area you want to work on.
3. Gain flexibility to work on the project when you can. When offering your services for free you aren’t getting paid to sit in the office all day – so do as much work as you can from home to prove that they don’t need to babysit you and that you are proactive and can work on your own.
4. Provide value – under-promise and over-deliver on their expectations. Remember they don’t expect much when you’re working for free.
5. Put a time limit on your free work – this will make the transition to paid work more clear.
6. Smart employers will hire you based on the value you can provide them. If they cannot employ you, that should not be a problem as you now have the experience you needed to begin with when looking elsewhere.