Trainee Structural Steel Project Manager, Grayson Engineering Ltd
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Construction Engineering
The variety is what he loves most about his career, says construction engineering alumnus Ben Turpin who is now a trainee structural steel project manager at Grayson Engineering Ltd.
“The fact that no building is the same makes working in this industry really exciting and makes me look forward to working every day. My role ranges from helping assess buildability issues and construction methods to attending site meetings and liaising with clients and subcontractors. I enjoy that I never know what could happen the next day and every day is a new challenge. There are new things to learn every single day and new people to meet on every construction site I visit.”
In his role now, Ben constantly draws on the skills he developed throughout his time at university.
“I use the industry knowledge, expertise and communication skills I gained at AUT every single day. The communication skills I developed while I was at university help me discuss issues and ideas with our clients who are extremely important to the company and future work. I apply what I learned at AUT every day to make critical decisions that affect the progress and cost of construction projects I’m involved in.”
Making the most of university
Throughout his time at university he had plenty of highlights, says Ben who finished his studies in 2020.
“When I was deciding where to study, AUT stood out because it’s a modern university with various types of advanced engineering courses that grabbed my attention. My final-year project was definitely a highpoint for me as engineering students from different disciplines teamed up to create and design a modern resort from scratch. That was really exciting for me.
“One of the achievements I was particularly proud of was being selected as the class representative for the construction engineering classes, which included having weekly or monthly meetings to discuss the degree’s lecturers and courses, and talk about any potential improvements. I was also selected for the 5v5 national basketball team that represented AUT at a national tournament at the end of each year.”
Being able to access the services of AUT’s Employability team and the talenthub on-campus recruitment service made it easy for Ben to transition from university to the workplace.
“AUT’s Employability team helped me greatly as they made time to get to know my personality and my favourite areas of study, which is one thing that companies love to hear about when looking for new employees. The Employability team sent out initial information about me as a person and what my degree covers before I sent in my CV or cover letter. I think that is really helpful when applying for companies as the employers already have an idea of what you’re like.”
Advice for other students
Make the most of the opportunities, Ben advises other students.
“My advice to future AUT students is to take every opportunity that comes your way. You never know what it might lead to. AUT is great at providing students with unique opportunities that may not come your way often.”
The friendships you form are one of the most important aspects of your time at university, he adds.
“My highlight at AUT was definitely meeting heaps of people that became really good friends throughout my years of studying and are still in my life after university. Make friends with everyone you can. Don’t forget that most of the time it's who you know, not what you know, that gets you the furthest in your respective industry.”