matt_houston_profile_shots_nas_project-02After graduating from RMIT’s Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure), Stephanie Kocovski was employed as a Graduate Site Engineer by Lendlease, the New Academic Street’s builders.

Which degree did you study at RMIT?

I completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Honours) (1st Class Honours).

What’s your current place of employment?

I am currently employed by Lendlease, part of the 2016 Building Graduate Program, based on site at the RMIT New Academic Street project in Melbourne.

What’s your current role?

Graduate Site Engineer at Lendlease.

What duties do you undertake in your role?

In summary, I manage the procurement, construction and commercial arrangements for a designated work area or trade. I am responsible for the safe and successful completion of works, while meeting specified targets such as program, budget, safety, design and quality.

How did you make the step from graduating to finding a job?

The last year of studies was vital to my success. When at university, I focused on absorbing all that I could from my lecturers and student peers. I also made it a priority to build relationships and networks given the industry is small and very much relationship driven.

In addition to my studies, I worked three days a week as a casual engineer at a residential engineering firm. This opportunity arose once completing my 12 weeks of mandatory industry practice that was a compulsory requirement from RMIT in order to successfully graduate.

Noticeably, this built my design knowledge, as well as a general understanding of professional practice and commitment. It also improved my self-confidence and ability to communicate professionally within the workplace environment.

Finally, I applied a considerable amount of effort to perfect my resume and cover letter, as well as practise interview questions.

What’s your involvement in the NAS project?

When I started at the NAS project, I was part of the team that delivered the Student Portals in Building 10, Levels 9-13. I came in at the end of delivery and played a supportive role tying up all the loose ends to achieve that milestone.

Once the student portals were handed over, my role was to lead the defect rectification works in that zone. Now, planning forward to the next delivery of the project, I am heavily involved in procurement, letting packages project wide.

As a past student, what outcome of the NAS project are you most excited for?

The best aspect of the NAS project is by far the study zones. The project is flooded with study precincts, some large open spaces with other areas small and exclusive. They provide great zones to study or simply relax with friends.

Additionally, it’s exciting to see the introduction of the new food and beverage precinct which will offer great options right on campus.

Lastly, I love the concept of introducing an internal academic street that mimics a Melbourne city laneway, exhibiting the new heart of the city campus.

What advice would you give students wanting to enter the construction industry?

Based on the few months I’ve been in the construction industry, it’s a fast paced environment that requires attention to detail and focus. You need to be self-motivated, have a positive attitude and a willingness and flexibility to assist the team where required.

Finally, my advice is to replicate a sponge and soak in as much information as you can, because one day all those pieces of information will start to paint a complete picture.

Overall the help and guidance from the team and industry has been encouraging and supportive.


Image by Matt Houston

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