A candidacy mentoring programme run by integrated infrastructure delivery company AECOM is playing a vital role in ensuring newly-employed graduates attain professional registration. The programme, which includes monthly touchpoint and quarterly progress sessions, tracks performance and nurtures soft skills.
Citing the discussions at these sessions as being “interesting and invaluable”, where the new employees are required to deliver presentations, Candidate Quantity Surveyor (QS) Qabilah Abramjee comments that “AECOM is helping tremendously by ensuring that I obtain the right experience.”
Her two mentors are AECOM PCC Commercial Sector Director Shevira Bissessor and Senior QS Stefan Cremer. This combination of people skills and technical excellence is shaping Abramjee into a fully-rounded professional.
“They are both incredible mentors with unique strengths, and I aspire to be as good as them,” she comments. Apart from attending bimonthly training sessions, Abramjee has also completed a two-day NEC4 training workshop at AECOM’s Centurion head office.
The experience of being part of a global corporate like AECOM affords opportunities to be involved in a diverse range of projects. “What this means is that we have input in projects of varying magnitude because our resources allow it. That is often not the case when being part of a start-up or a much smaller firm. The networking is outstanding, and the platforms available internally make it very easy to communicate with, contribute to, and gain expert assistance from people abroad,” Abramjee elaborates.
The company’s global nature also means that diversity is a core element. “The idea of being part of a global network is very exciting, as it provides a window to work abroad. Lastly, it is very promising to a young person such as myself to know that we are in such good hands, being moulded into professionals by people who have overcome many challenges, and successfully completed many massive projects.”
Having only joined AECOM in February this year, Abramjee highlights that her working experience has been fantastic. “The company culture was easy to adapt to, as it is quite welcoming and diverse. Senior managers are approachable, and willing to provide assistance and advice. In this short period, I have already experienced a site visit, a team-building exercise, a corporate social responsibility event, and a wellness event hosted by Discovery Health at AECOM’s Centurion office.”
Abramjee is involved in all measurement and cost-related components throughout a project’s lifecycle, from inception to close-out. At this stage she prepares pricing for procurement documentation. “I also review tenders in order to report to the Project Managers, and advise them regarding the selection of tenderers. As I gain more experience, my duties will include involvement in financial feasibly studies, site visits, preparing valuations, and cost reporting, etc.”
Another success story at AECOM has been Structural Technologist Grace Makola, who received a bursary to complete her BTech Degree in Structural Engineering. “I design, model, and manage the structural engineering aspects of engineering projects.”
Makola worked for legacy company BKS from 2008 to 2011. When AECOM came onto her radar in 2014, she joined the company in 2015. “It has been extremely positive for me in terms of career experience. I work with incredibly talented people who are willing and eager to share their skills and knowledge.” Makola is also part of the candidacy mentoring programme at AECOM.