What lead you to MIPEP?
I found out about MIPEP through social media. A close friend of mine tagged me in a post on Facebook for a job [MIPEP] being advertised at the University of Melbourne - sponsored by AFL Sports Ready. I graduated high school in 2017 and was working at New Balance at the time. I was offered a 2IC position, but then realised retail wasn’t the career path I wanted. I applied for the program and was fortunate enough to go through the interview process with my close friend and we both got into the program.
What do you think has been your highlight so far?
There’s been heaps which is good. I think overall, it’s been the networking. I’ve gained friendships within the cohort and have developed good helpful relationships with internal and external colleagues in both roles. My second rotation (in Estate Planning and Development) has been quite a highlight as well – the amount of knowledge I’ve been able to gain is huge!
Prior to this role, I had no previous exposure in this field and my team gave me the flexibility to learn hands-on. My previous manager set up industry experience with external stakeholders which included working with engineering and architecture firms one day a week for about a month.
I’ve realised that working with projects is something I am quite interested in and that it doesn’t matter what end of the project you’re working on, there’s some way you can contribute. I think that interest has come from working with people who are passionate about their contribution towards a project
My time at the Uni has taught me that there is so much opportunity around the campus if you look for it.
What skills do you think you’ve developed the most?
My communication skills - even small things like being able to communicate a message across efficiently or write a concise email. My time at Melbourne Law School taught me skills like patience and persistence which helped with my vast networking with a range of external and internal stakeholders as well.
I’ve also learned how to implement the knowledge into work that I’ve picked up elsewhere. A lot of my learning in my current role is interactive and gained through exposure and experience. I’m learning to implement similar knowledge compared to those who have studied in the field but applying it through a unique perspective.
During the time I spent with the engineering firm, I sat in a couple of meetings on their end and so now when we have project meetings with engineers, I have an educated understanding of the process they need to contribute to a project.
If you had some advice for any prospective MIPEP participants, what would it be?
I think focusing on your professional development. For me at the start, it wasn’t something I was aware of but now I can see how it can really benefit you as a person. Make the most out of your opportunities, it’s always better to say yes than to say no. Be comfortable in the uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to develop your weaknesses and not just work to your strengths.
Before I had started in this position if someone had told me that now I would be interested in the building industry or this position, I would’ve shrugged it off. Now I can see the building industry is something I am interested in and I can definitely see a career path coming out of it.