Cristina Luces

Cristina Luces

Senior Project Manager, Beca Ltd
Master of Engineering Project Management

She loves the variety her role offers, says Cristina Luces who completed a Master of Engineering Project Management and now works as a senior project manager at Beca Ltd.

“I’m acting as a project controls lead and am responsible for providing project controls services to the project team, including planning, cost control, earned value analysis, forecasting, scheduling, report production and change management for our multidisciplinary design team. I enjoy the variety of the role, while supporting the delivery of projects and effective communication with key stakeholders.”

Her career progress so far is something she is immensely proud of.

“I’m very proud of becoming a team leader for Beca's Northern Project and Programme Management as it allows me to find myself as a leader and positively impact others. As a team leader, I can create a positive influence by leading with vision and providing direction that helps my team grow and engage towards achieving our shared goals.”

Choosing AUT
Her professional career started as a planning engineer, says Cristina who previously completed university qualifications in Venezuela and in France. After migrating to New Zealand, she was eager to further develop her engineering project management skills; a decision that would lead her to AUT.

“I wanted to get a New Zealand degree that provided an opportunity to develop expert competencies that bridge the gap between engineering concepts and project management principles to give myself further professional credibility. AUT has the longest-running postgraduate engineering project management programme in Aotearoa and has a good reputation for providing students with ‘hands-on’ experience.”

She thoroughly enjoyed her time at AUT.

“I appreciated the networking opportunities, and meeting like-minded colleagues and supporting each other’s growth during the degree. A particular lightbulb moment for me was learning that ethics is about making the best possible decision concerning people, resources and the environment. I also enjoyed the Women in STEM workshops where we could empower ourselves in these competitive industries.”

Advice for other students
Cristina, who completed her Master of Engineering Project Management in 2022, has some great advice for other students interested in a career in project management.

“My advice is not to underestimate the power of public speaking and negotiation strategies in this field.

“Team building is also critical if you want to succeed as a project manager.”