Josh Laloli

Josh Laloli

Assistant Project Manager, Beca
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Architectural Engineering

Being involved in the construction of Auckland Zoo’s new Southeast Asian Precinct is one of the highlights in his career so far, says Josh Laloli who completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Architectural Engineering and now works as an assistant project manager in the buildings team at Beca.

“I was very proud when we reached the practical completion of the Southeast Asian Precinct at Auckland Zoo. Beca was both the project manager and cost manager for the construction of several exhibits and infrastructure, including the orangutan, tiger and crocodile exhibits, and the Te Puna Café.

“This project will have a huge impact on the residents of Auckland for generations to come and I’m incredibly proud to have played a part in its construction.”

As an assistant project manager, Josh manages the day-to-day tasks for building projects his organisation is involved in. It’s a role he very much enjoys.

“A lot of my days are spent engaging with the client, consultants and the contractors to make sure that the project is on track and running smoothly. I also manage changes to the works completed in the project. If the client would like to change anything from the original plans, they come to us to make that happen. The thing I enjoy most about my job is the collaboration with people from different organisations, disciplines and backgrounds. I learn so much every day from working with a diverse range of people on a diverse range of projects.”

Making the most of university
For Josh, the journey towards the rewarding career he has now started with enrolling in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Architectural Engineering.

“The first thing that attracted me to this major was the name – the mix of the two degrees I was deciding between sounded absolutely perfect to me. The main aspects of this degree are a mix of the three things I was passionate about and wanted a career in: built environment, design and sustainability. Choosing a degree you’re really passionate about helps to motivate your learning, both inside and outside of university.

“AUT fit perfectly with my learning style – learning through collaboration, engagement with lecturers and plenty of workshops. The forward-thinking nature of the courses that delivered what the industry wanted was also a huge upside of AUT, and I began to appreciate it more as my degree went on. When I went into the job market, I was constantly hearing ‘Wow, you learned that at uni?’ from interviewers. They were surprised that some incredibly in-demand skills that are often overlooked by universities were captured by the AUT courses.”

He says a major highlight of his time at AUT was being a peer mentor and being able to share what he learned with other students.

“Peer mentoring is a service found in the AUT library where students from more advanced years can provide guidance to their peers, whether this is academically or as advice. This was a great opportunity for me as it both reinforced my learning by walking others through courses that I had done in the past. It gave me a chance to improve skills in teaching and helping others.”

Advice for other students
Coming into university and learning face-to-face is the best way to have your university experience, says Josh who graduated from AUT at the end of 2021.

“You make friends you see every day, and they will send you notes on days you miss, be your partner for any group work projects and work through any problems with you. In my opinion, one of the most important things at university is to gain some good friends who will support you throughout the years and, in my time at AUT, we were always encouraged to collaborate and make friends.

“Face-to-face learning is also incredibly important as you get less distracted and can see all that the lecturer wants to show you, whether that is with props or a whiteboard. If you’re listening to an online lecture, you may miss a lot and can be easily distracted.”

Try not to get upset over any bad marks, he adds.

“Understanding and digesting your lecturer’s feedback on your assignments is just as important as anything you learn in the classroom. As long as you understand the content and are taking the feedback on board, the good marks will come.”

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