Fagafeuo Te'o: My uncle was a builder and he used to take me along with him. That's where I built sort of the love for the building industry. Coming from Samoa to Sydney, we don't have high-rise buildings like what I've seen here, and it inspired me to pursue a career in the high-rise buildings.
Craig Barry: The course is really designed for the students with industry experience, but not necessarily the academic qualifications to attain those qualifications, to help them progress into a more management role. And also, to allow students that have undergraduate bachelor degrees in an interrelated discipline to really open up that new career path to try and merge into the construction industry.
Fagafeuo Te'o: I've actually been in industry for like 15 years. I decided to further my goal by looking at getting back to study. Sydney, Australia, was the first place that came to mind. UTS was the place that appealed to me in terms of support with students, but also was actually based in the city and it's been nice to interact and learn from different cultures, and technologies, and fast city life.
Craig Barry: The main focus of the course is to really accelerate that student's practical understanding, and this is from speaking from experience, that you tend to learn the most whilst doing things on-site because there's that real-life pressure. The sooner you have an understanding of how that pressure can affect the decision making, it'll just put them in better stead once they're on site and those real-life pressures exist.
Craig Barry: We were very lucky that the builder provided four or five different supervisors, broke the students up into teams, so there was a lot of intimate discussion going on. The builder sits the group down and gives them a run down on the project, and starts talking in tangible circumstances about this cost this much today to rectify. We had a situation where we could go down option A or option B, and we're lucky enough that they share quite a lot of information to things that have gone wrong and ultimately, I've found that the best learning experiences on a construction site is when things go wrong.
Fagafeuo Te'o: I actually learned a lot from that site visit. Because in classroom you talk about theory, but then when you go on the site, you actually see it, and it's real.
Craig Barry: The opportunities that exist across the industry, broadly, is that there'll be a much greater focus on students with a detailed understanding of that quality process, that defect resolution process. Being able to demonstrate that understanding will be a much greater asset to contractors moving forward.
Fagafeuo Te'o: It is an amazing experience, and I say to myself, "As long as you know what you're doing, understand and work hard, then you can do it."