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Henry’s Advice for Graduate Contract Administrators

Many construction management undergraduates aim to land a Junior Contract Administrator position at the end of their degree, or at the completion of a graduate program. Henry did exactly that.

Contract Administrators (CAs) are tasked with ensuring accurate and efficient processes between clients, the project team and external stakeholders. The roles and responsibilities of a CA span the preparation of subcontractor agreements, drafting scopes of work, coordinating site meetings, managing time expectations to meet tight programmes, developing a thorough understanding of all aspects of the construction process, and much more!

Many construction management undergraduates aim to land a Junior Contract Administrator position at the end of their degree, or at the completion of a graduate program. Henry did exactly that.

“A very valued member of our team for a number of years, Henry came on board as a Contract Administrator in 2018 and has been a fantastic fit for Kennett. He embodies our company values and contributes significantly to not only every project he works on, but the tight-knit culture we strive to uphold” said James Kennett.

How many years have you worked at Kennett?

4 ½ years

How did you get into Contract Administration? 

Towards the end of school, I knew I would suit a career in the construction industry, so I went to Uni SA and studied a Bachelor of Built Environment. I got my first job when I saw a post by a sponsor of my old scholars’ football club advertising for a Graduate Contract Administrator – I couldn’t have jumped at the opportunity any quicker.

 What is your favourite thing about your role?

You are an integral part of the operation and success of the project and get to work collaboratively with people from almost every other role within the company. Contract Administration leads into a diverse range of knowledge and an understanding of many fields such as engineering, architecture, contract law, accounting, finance, etc. I think that’s cool and there aren’t many other jobs like that.

What is your favourite thing about working at Kennett?

The people that work at Kennett are all legends. From the day I walked in, I was welcomed as if I’d been a part of Kennett for years and that hasn’t changed in the 4 ½ years I have been here.

What is the most challenging thing about your role?

More often than not the projects have very tight programmes, so from the moment the project starts it’s a race to keep up with orders, correspondence and variations.

How has your role been affected by Covid-19?

Working from home at any given point has been the obvious challenge that a lot of industries have faced, this affected the ease of regular interaction with the project team throughout each day. There has been added pressure to keep things moving and ordered without delay when it comes to supply of materials, there have been steep price rises on a regular basis with very little notice and lengthy lead times for deliveries that you have to stay ahead of.

What are some stand out projects that you have worked on?

The three projects at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre.

  • Anchor Project Memorial Drive. 2018/19
  • Tennis Centre Court Development. 2019
  • Tennis Centre Court Development 2. 2021/22.

Why were these stand out projects?

It was a testament to Kennett and the team that we built a lasting relationship with Tennis SA that led to being entrusted with three consecutive milestone projects. The latter two being completed in the lead up to the 2021 & 2022 Adelaide International Tennis Tournaments.

What advice would you give to those entering the Kennett Builders’ Graduate Program?

  • Make the most of any opportunity to be on site to see as much of the construction process as possible. While you’re there, get to know the Site Managers/Safety Officers and learn as much as you can from them, they know their stuff.
  • Don’t feel like you have to know everything about construction straight out of uni, other Kennett staff, subcontractors and consultants are always happy to explain concepts that may be new to you.
  • Be prepared to be diligent with details and wording when it comes to contracts and project correspondence, often if an agreement is not on the record in writing it does not count.