Joshua charges up his career
Swinburne is one of our long-term valued industry partners. Over the past five years, our partnership has created future-ready learners and long-term employability for undergraduate students undertaking the Civilex Charge Undergraduate Program.
The Civilex Charge Undergraduate Program for 2020 officially opens today.
We’re accepting applications for current Swinburne undergraduate students for 12-month professional placements. Undergraduate students are given the opportunity to fully immerse in our workplace environments – both project site and head office – and actively become a member of the team and participate in a whole range of workplace activities.
Joshua Mulvogue commenced his Charge Undergraduate Program with Civilex in December 2018. His engineering journey started at Swinburne in 2014 and believes he was born to be an engineer. “At high school so many students were unsure about what work they wanted to pursue in the future, but I was good at maths and science and knew that studying engineering was right for me.”
Joshua decided to study a 5-year double degree but one with a difference – he’s studying mechanical engineering. “Despite studying mechanical rather than civil engineering, I always wanted to move into a project management role. I enjoy seeing all the different components and groups of people come together to make a project work and this was the main reason for applying for the Civilex Charge Undergraduate Program.”
Joshua’s Current Project and Tasks
Joshua has been stationed out at Mossfiel Reserve project site since starting his program with Civilex. The Mossfiel project is a redevelopment of the Mossfiel Reserve, focusing on new rugby fields, cricket ovals and a family friendly area including BBQs, picnic shelters and a playground.
Joshua’s tasks vary daily, but are largely focussed on safety, procurement, communications and quality. Some of the specific activities that Joshua oversees include:
- Development of ground penetration permits and accompanying supporting documentation for work activities
- Communicating and organising with subcontractors on site
- Assisting with procurement of materials and services
- Undertaking weekly site safety walks and extended site closures as required
- Ensuring monthly HSE&Q audits are in order and following up on issues that have been identified
- Assisting the site supervisor with personnel inductions and SWMS
- Assisting the SPE in cost tracking of critical activities, developing 3-week lookaheads and financial reporting
- Developing subcontract agreements and purchase orders
- Recording the meeting minutes during weekly client/stakeholder meetings and taking part in discussions
- Ensuring that the project is not delayed as a result of ITP hold points not being released.
Expectations Versus Reality
As a mechanical engineer, Joshua didn’t really know what to expect in terms of the daily work he’d be involved in. “The one thing I did expect was to be spending a lot of time behind a computer screen. But the reality is I get to spend plenty of time out on site seeing and experiencing first-hand what it takes to complete a project.”
Joshua feels that he has been able to consolidate his university theory and expand on his essential skills at Civilex. “Not only have I learnt project-specific technical skills, but I’ve developed essential work skills in communication, relationships and time management. They’ve grown tremendously.”
Part of working in the construction industry is the reality of early start times. “The early starts did take some getting used to. As a typical university student, I was not used to waking up before 9am but quickly I discovered that everyone in construction starts their day at 7am. And now the early starts have grown on me!”
Working with a project delivery team on site allows you to get to know the people you’re working alongside as well as experience the company culture. “I never imagined that the people I’d be working with at Civilex would be so down to earth. Everyone is so approachable and happy to answer my questions or point me in the right direction. Everyone here loves a good chat and I was surprised by how well everyone got along.”
Joshua is still to complete a few subjects at university, so he’s chosen to study part-time at Civilex while finishing them with his aim to complete his double degree by the end of the year. “After my undergraduate program has finished, I hope to continue my journey with Civilex and be accepted into the Ignite 2021 Graduate program.”
Joshua’s Top Professional Placement Tips
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – I can’t stress this enough!
- Try to communicate with everyone, not just your fellow office staff – having a good relationship with the labourers and subcontractors on-site will make your life easier
- If there is something you are unsure or uncomfortable with don’t be afraid to speak up – it’s better to do something right the first time than having to repeat it again
- Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the experience – in my limited time here, enjoying the work you do makes you more productive
- Bring your own lunch to work. Even I struggle with this, but it’s good advice and you’d be surprised at the money you can save!
- Get involved with as many social activities as you can.