Julian Kajewski is a construction cadet at McNab Constructions in Brisbane. He took five minutes out of his day to answer our five questions.
What is your job description at McNab Construction?
I work full time as a Construction Cadet at McNab Constructions whilst completing my university degree at Queensland University of Technology. Next year I will be in my fourth year of a Bachelor of Urban Development (Construction Management).
As a Construction Cadet at McNab I have the opportunity to complete a rotation in three key areas: Estimating, Design and Operations. I have been lucky in that I have been placed in Operations, which is my preferred area at this stage of my career.
I work within a project team including a Project Manager, a Contracts Administrator, and myself. As a team we receive construction projects, which McNab has tendered and won. Our goal is to complete these projects within an established budget, to a high quality, within a pre-established time. I will also mention that safety is a key area of construction, and is always at the forefront of our operations.
A simple description of our job includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Identify site constraints and project particulars
- Establish a construction methodology and programme for our project (this will be updated as we progress through the project to meet time, budget and quality factors)
- Procure resources for a project
- Negotiate and engage subcontractors and suppliers for construction resources
- Establish safe work methods
- Monitor and review the construction of the project
- Establish and implement inspection test points
- Maintain positive cash flows
- Review and assess subcontractors claims
- Review, assess and code suppliers invoices
- Collaborate with the client and the architect in regards to project particulars
- Engage external parties to certify the building
- Compile handover documentation
- Handover project
Describe your typical working day.
My typical working day will vary depending on the stage of the project we are in. I generally begin work between 7:00 and 7:30am and have a pre-start meeting with the project team to establish our objectives for the day. The key is to determine what tasks are critical to job performance and complete them in an order of priority.
In general, most of my typical working day is spent on the phone or computer communicating with subcontractors, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. Maintaining good communication and relationships is key in the construction world.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about construction is working as a team towards common goals. A project is a finite goal and is achieved through accomplishing milestones.
I truly enjoy watching a project progress and assessing, analysing and overcoming the hurdles and obstacles along the way.
Successfully completing a quality project within the allocated budget and time with a happy client is a great feeling.
I am currently working on a project at QUT. The QUT’s Ferry Terminal Lift Link is worth approximately $2 Million dollars. This project is a great flagship for myself, as it is located on Z-Block, which is the building that most of my classes are in.
What advice would you give someone interested in working the construction industry?
The construction industry is a great industry to work in if you are interested in managing the process and objectives required to create a successful project. Construction processes and requirements are forever changing and therefore it is a challenging environment in which you will always be required to learn. As construction is a fast paced environment it is always key to maintain composure, and know that there is always a means to an end.
Creating and maintaining good relationships with clients, subcontractors, colleagues and other parties is the best advice I can give.
What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in five years time?
At this stage of my career, my immediate goal is to gain the title of Contracts Administrator during or at the completion of my university degree.
In five years time, my goal is to achieve the title and reputation of a knowledgeable Junior Project Manager.
My goals are forever progressing with my development.
Right now, my goal is to achieve high grades in my exams that I am currently in the middle of.
A big THANK YOU to Julian Kajewski for taking the time to answer our questions about his role as Construction Cadet at McNab. There’s some great advice here for those interested in a career in the building and construction industry. That construction project that Julian is working on at QUT looks fantastic. Be sure to check it out.