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    - A lot of people ask me why I chose construction.

    They expected me to say,

    "Oh, I have family in construction,"

    or "I've had some sort of role model

    that was in construction."

    But that's not really the case for me.

    It was more just me wanting to challenge myself.

    I've always been very interested in design and architecture,

    except that wasn't hands on enough for me.

    So just sitting in an office

    every day doesn't really appeal to me.

    I want to be out on site and I want to be learning.

    I study a Bachelor

    of Construction Project Management at UTS.

    It's a very practical subject,

    which is something that I absolutely love.

    It's very hands on.

    We get to go out onto site for some of our assignments.

    So far, I've traveled to Cambodia to build a house.

    I've travelled to Nepal to build a new farming product,

    and I've got to go to China

    to learn a little bit of Chinese.

    In 2017, I co founded the UTS Women in Construction Society,

    and one of the main reasons why I decided

    to start the group was to encourage more females

    to enter the construction industry.

    When I was in year 12,

    I had absolutely no idea

    what construction project management was

    or that it even existed.

    We have networking events that happen twice a year

    where industry panelist come in and speak to students.

    We also have a lot of socializing events just

    so all the females get

    to know each other in different year groups

    and really set up their network within the university.

    - I've been working in construction now

    for well over 20 years.

    I actually graduated from UTS about 32 years ago.

    And so I gradually, I built up my career.

    I didn't know that I was gonna move

    into construction straight away.

    I guess you get success in projects

    that then gives you the confidence

    to move on to another project.

    The industry of construction

    to me is very exciting 'cause no two projects are the same.

    - I think there's definitely a misconception

    that construction is more geared towards males.

    The techniques and skills you need for construction,

    females aren't at any disadvantage.

    - The era that we're in at the moment,

    there's so many opportunities for women in

    what I guess is seen

    as being fairly male dominated fields in the past.

    Diversity in the workplace is getting stronger and greater.

    If you work hard and you're passionate,

    that will just get you so far in the working world.

    If you show those attributes and do

    that while you're at uni studying,

    you go into the workforce a much stronger person.

    - UTS has many industry connections

    with construction companies, and it was

    through these connections that I was able

    to secure a position at Mirvac where I am currently a cadet.

    I thought that I was going to face a lot

    of challenges and obstacles

    because I was a female and especially a young female

    just entering the construction industry with no experience.

    My expectations have been completely flipped around.

    Everyone that I work at here with Mirvac is

    so encouraging and so supportive,

    and they're giving me really,

    really good tasks to help me develop all my skills.

    I get to go out on site.

    I get to manage subcontractors.

    I get to manage deliveries and orders,

    and it's really allowing me to grow

    and learn so many new things.

    - Theory will only take you so far.

    Practical puts all of that into practice

    and it makes all that theory relevant.

    You learn quicker when you actually get on site

    and see and figure out how construction works.

    - I definitely think that there's a stereotype

    of the construction industry

    where if you're entering the industry,

    you're pretty much going to be laying bricks

    or doing something with a hammer,

    and that's what I thought of when I was in year 12

    when I thought of construction except

    that is completely not true.

    There are so many management positions available.

    There's residential houses,

    you can start your own business

    and you can work on really large infrastructure projects

    such as skyscrapers.

    You can work on bridges.

    You can work on rail networks.

    There's so many different options.

    Without construction, society would pretty much halt

    because we're obviously a growing community

    and a growing population,

    so construction will always be needed.

    UTS would like to thank the team at Mirvac for supporting our students and allowing us the opportunity to visit their construction site.

    Copyright 2019 University of Technology Sydney

  • DAB Student Project: Building Houses for Underprivileged Families in Cambodia, by Michael Er

    Building Houses for Underprivileged Families in Cambodia Student Gallery Construction

    Construction impacts our lives in so many ways.