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Matt’s Advice for Aspiring Project Managers

Coming up to his third year at Kennett, Matt’s impact on the construction division has been enormous. Read about Matt's advice to graduates hoping to pursue a career in project management.

His road to Project Management has been unconventional… after trying on many hats, Matt now holds a pivotal role in the organisation as one of our most respected and skilled Project Managers.

Coming up to his third year at Kennett, Matt’s impact on the construction division has been enormous. “A real knack for project management, Matt has a great ability to ensure projects are delivered efficiently and teams are highly functional for the entire duration of a project lifecycle” said James Kennett.

Matt is a great leader – his ability to bring teams together and adapt quickly to any arising problem makes him an invaluable member of the project management team. His passion for each stage of the build is evident on every project he works on.

When he doesn’t have his head down rolling out projects, he’s finessing his Friday afternoon office quiz-master performance.

How did you get into project management?

“I did a degree in urban planning at University here in Adelaide but couldn’t get work in the field after I finished. I went back to Alice Springs and was working for a plumber on a job site for a new subdivision. One day I was chatting to the Construction Manager about University and work… he mentioned they had an opening for a Contract Administrator.

From a staffing perspective, the company was quite small but we were still undertaking multiple projects. In order to keep things going, I had to cover multiple roles. I think it was about 8 months after starting that I had the opportunity to manage two small-ish projects. From there, my projects and responsibilities just kept growing.”

What is your favourite thing about your role?

“I enjoy actually having a job with tangible outcomes – it doesn’t get much bigger than being part of a construction team that delivers a new building. I think it’s quite satisfying seeing the building go up through all the different stages.

There are a lot of people who contribute throughout the project but most are only there for a portion of the build. Not many get to see it from the very start to finish – that’s what I love most about project management.”

What is the best part about working at Kennett?

  • There’s a lot of support at Kennett.
  • A lot of opportunity.
  • It’s easy to maintain a good work/life balance.

If you have any questions or are unsure about what step to take next, you’re never left hanging out to dry. There’s always someone, at any level in the company, who will lend a hand.

If you work hard and do the job well, it won’t take long for the opportunities to progress in your career to open up.

How has your role been affected by Covid-19?

“There have been less face to face meetings and as of this year, less time onsite. We are now dealing with isolations and close contacts, changing who we have onsite on a weekly basis.

Supply delays have become common and need to be considered throughout a project lifecycle. Luckily, the construction industry has managed to keep on rolling basically the whole time. So personally, I haven’t experienced too many drastic changes.”

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

  • Cabra College Gymnasium
  • Bremerton Winery
  • Alice Springs Supreme Court (Pre-Kennett)

What advice would you give to those entering the Kennett Builders’ Graduate Program (specifically, aspiring project managers)?

Take your time with what you are doing and make sure you have it right. An extra 5 minutes to check you haven’t made a mistake, will save a lot of trouble down the track. Trust me.

You can’t keep everyone happy all the time and that’s ok. Don’t let it stress you out.

…and study up on your general knowledge otherwise you’ll never win the Friday afternoon quiz.