Career Profile: Working in Construction Management

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Shane Mountain Job, Project Manager at John Sisk & Son Ltd. tells us what it is like to work in construction management.

I am a Project Manager for John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd. I completed a BSc. (Honours) in Construction Management & Engineering in Waterford Institute of Technology. In 2008, I graduated with a first-class honours degree. Since finishing college I have worked with Sisk. In addition, I have worked on a variety of different projects, in a range of sectors within the industry.

Education

I did my Leaving Certificate in 2001 and started a course in Civil Engineering that year. After I finished the first two semesters of this course, I felt that it emphasised  design. Therefore, I decided not to return to complete the course the following September. I then worked for two years in the pharmaceutical industry. After that, I deciding to return to third level education to complete a course in Construction Management & Engineering.

This course was better equipped to train people for site work and the challenges that they face on a daily basis. We learned a lot about the management of people and resources on projects as well as the skills needed from an engineering viewpoint out on site.

During my time in college, I spent two summer holidays working with Sisk. I also spent nine months with the company as part of the college’s industrial placement programme. These stints were invaluable to me and gave a vast insight to how the industry works. This allowed me to put the theory that I had learned in college into practice in the work environment. I was then lucky enough to obtain employment within the organisation once I had qualified with my degree. I have been able to progress my career from there.

Working as Project Engineer

Working as a Project Engineer is a very challenging and rewarding career. Each day brings new challenges. Since I started work, I have been involved in a variety of sectors. These include healthcare, industrial/manufacturing, pharmaceutical, commercial, retail, restoration works, leisure and energy. Each of these  has their own particular challenges. The career also allows you to travel and work around the globe. The qualification that I obtained is recognised around the world. Many of my colleagues from WIT now work with large multinational organisations in a variety of locations around the globe, from America and Canada to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and onto Australia and New Zealand.

I spent one and a half years working with Sisk in Germany on two retail projects. These were very interesting and fast paced jobs. They also gave the project team some new challenges. There were difficulties to be overcome with day-to-day items such as language barriers and logistics. In addition, there were specific regulations and specifications which were new to the site team. However, these were very exciting projects to work on and the experiences gained on these jobs will be invaluable to those involved.

Since starting my career in the industry I have built up a good knowledge bank. I have become a respected member of site teams, both by my colleagues within the organisation and clients alike. It is a career that I enjoy and the knowledge, respect and responsibility that I have gained over the last few years make this profession so satisfying for me.


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