Claudia Sparks Her Interest in Construction
Claudia Lagudi finished high school recently and completed our Spark Workplace Experience Program at Civilex. We caught up with Claudia as she completed our Spark Workplace Experience Program and asked her a couple of questions about her experience.
Claudia Lagudi is an average 18-year-old relieved the pressures of Year 12 are over and enjoying taking a break from the books while she dips her toes in part-time work. She says she was really disengaged at high school but got through it. “I didn’t want to drop out, and never thought of taking up a trade. So, I made it through and now I’m looking at my passions and career options.”
But where Claudia is not your average teenager is her long-held passion for construction. And although Claudia has never set foot on a construction site – citing her only qualifications are watching construction YouTube videos – she’s keen to find out if construction is in her future.
Civilex selected recent graduate Site Engineer Grant McInerney to be Claudia’s construction buddy for the week. Grant took Claudia onto her first live construction site introducing her to site-based employees and the processes and practices of construction work. Claudia says, “I will never be the same driving past a road construction site after having had this experience. I got such an understanding of the real benefits engineering and construction workers provide society at large – like roads and bridges. It’s the things we use every day but take them all for granted.”
Claudia says she felt privileged being a ‘fly on the wall’ and attending different meetings to observe and listen to how construction staff work together to make construction actually work. Claudia says, “I’ve enjoyed this whole week immensely especially the way the week has been delivered. Rather than feeling bombarded with too much information, I’ve been able to digest this amazing experience as I go because I’ve been part of the culture and daily work processes of a real construction company.”
Claudia makes mention of the Civilex family-oriented culture. “I love the culture here. It’s open and friendly, everyone including the Managing Director walks around the office talking to everyone else. It’s also a similar culture on site – everyone is working but they are really enjoying working together and doing their work.”
Once students complete the Civilex Spark Workplace Experience Program, our Training and Compliance Coordinator Cara Thompson sits down with the student and completes a career map.
Cara starts by completing a self-evaluation to help the student think about their values and what motivates them. This is a combination of a debrief from the week which helps guide them to think about what they enjoyed overall and what was a standout experience over the week they were here.
From here Cara evaluates their career pathways within the Civil Construction industry linking this to their self-evaluation. Once they have explored their preferred pathways it’s time to weigh up their options. Based on the week’s journey they weigh up the pros and cons of the work areas they were exposed to.
Now for the exciting part!
As the student’s vision of a career goal in the construction industry becomes clearer it’s time to set the goals that are going to make this career a reality. Cara says, “Students can take their career map away with them and keep working on it. It’s so important to revisit the plan and assess where they’re at and record their own progress.”
For any student wondering if the construction industry is for them, just like where Claudia was just one week ago, her advice is simple, “Just do it! Experience and knowledge are the most valuable and tangible things to go by and this week at Civilex has been one of the best experiences I have ever undertaken. I know if I hadn’t experienced this week, I’d always be wondering.”
Expression of interest for the Spark Workplace Experience Program is open now – apply here.