A passion for city futures and the built environment – along with some inspirational study tours to Dubai, Singapore and London – confirmed what Joe Martakis already knew. He was headed for an exciting career in construction management.
Project coordinator at Hansen Yuncken
“My experience at RMIT has provided me with both practical and managerial skills that are valued by employers. I feel like I am equipped to work across leadership, team collaboration and strategic planning.
As a kid, I was always using my hands to create things and this is what motivated me to pursue a trade. After working in carpentry and shopfitting, I decided to look at my long-term aspirations. I knew RMIT had a long-lasting reputation in construction management, so I decided to enrol in a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building).
Having finished the diploma with great success, I wanted to continue with my studies by entering into a degree. I wanted to challenge myself and make it in the construction industry as a professional. I went onto study the Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management) (Honours) degree, and it was here that I got to experience the multiple aspects of the industry, from hands-on tools through to site management, development and renewal.
The highlight of my degree was my participation in two separate study tours, where I visited construction sites in Dubai, Singapore and London. Here, I was able to apply the construction theories that I had learnt in class to a real-world context. These tours also opened up my eyes to firsthand social, environmental and economic issues within the built environment in a global context. The study tour has been an invaluable experience for me – I’ve made some amazing connections with some of the other students and staff that you don’t usually get to experience on campus.
The program content goes beyond just construction management. For example, in my final year I gained a holistic insight into things like economic, environmental, political and social issues across local, state, federal and international contexts. This has helped to inform my own opinions about cities and environment.
I received the Buxton Award in 2015. It is awarded to the student who achieved the highest cumulative grade point average (GPA) in third year BASc Construction Management Honours.
There is a difference in studying at the different levels. I found that the diploma provides the more practical, hands-on practices required in the construction industry. It is more tailored to the pathway of site management in the construction industry. The degree provides the theoretical skills around administration, policy and research practices that underpins what a construction professional does in the built environment. The diploma is a great stepping stone and provided me with the right tools and diligence to continue my studies at the next level.
I applied for a Graduate Position at Hansen Yuncken in my final year of my degree. The job that I dreamt of being a part of whilst at university, that job that made we want to become a construction professional in the first place was to be on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project that would benefit the community. To be given the opportunity to be involved in a PPP project within only my first year after graduating from university is something that I am extremely grateful for.
Having only just been out of university life for a short while, I look back on that part of my life as one of the most enjoyable and influential experiences I have shared. My advice will be not to take it for granted. Get involved in uni life.