The sun is gently peeking around my curtains when I am awoken, not by my alarm going off, but by the dawn sounds of the majestic White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus), honking loudly as they fly from the beautiful wetland landscape outside my apartment, to the bins on the side of the road.
Time to hit the shower and make myself presentable to the world.
Out the door and off to the train for my quick commute into the city. I’ve recently become addicted to podcasts and I use the commute trying to learn Spanish, or listening to the AECOM Talking Cities podcast, to catch up on what is happening in the planning space across the world and within AECOM.
Wander in to the office, plonk myself down and prepare myself for the day. I like to check my emails first thing and respond to anything that came in overnight, and ensure I am catching any priority last-minute requests for any major deliverables due out. Then I check my calendar and diary for any meeting and task reminders. Currently I am working on an Environmental Impact Statement for a major infrastructure project. On this project, I am working with a fantastic, multidisciplinary project team of 20 people that have flown in from offices across AECOM ANZ. I’ve been granted the opportunity to take on a key role in the coordination of the team, so my days consist of leading workshops, attending meetings and delivering on project work. I have an hour before my first meeting, so I head into our “project war room” to check on my team to ensure each person has enough allocated work to get on with, answer any questions, and provide assistance. Then I’m off for meeting number one.
Meeting number one – held in our office with the other project leads. Being a major infrastructure project with a number of large deliverables being worked on concurrently, we aim to operate like a well-oiled machine, all cogs turning in time. This daily meeting is key to that outcome. We meet to discuss progress, challenges and solutions, and to prioritise our tasks for the day.
Return to my project team to brief them of the key outcomes of the meeting, allocating key tasks and emphasising deadlines.
Wonder why I feel so tired and hangry and realise that because I rushed out of the house this morning to get to work early I didn’t have breakfast and haven’t even had a coffee! What was I thinking? I grab a few of my project team that I need to discuss a few further issues with and we have a walking meeting, on our way for coffee and toast. We duck across the road to the café and continue the meeting back in the “hub” at AECOM, which is a really nice outdoor terrace in our building, set up with benches and gardens. It’s a great alternative to your average meeting room and provides us with a bit of vitamin D while we discuss the project.
Time to concentrate! I put on my headphones, open Spotify and put on my favourite punk playlist because it’s time to churn out some work! I start sifting through the project Environmental Impact Assessment to put together items and issues requiring responses in the next phase of the environmental planning approval process. I get caught up in the air quality section as it is very technically complicated. Luckily, I have a network of technical experts available to me at AECOM, so I pick up the phone to call a friend in the Newcastle office who is an air quality scientist. I get the explanation I need and I am able to move through my work.
I’m starving, and it’s time for lunch! A few friends and I have started having ‘family lunches’. We each bring in ingredients for lunch and share a healthy meal in the hub. Today, its grilled wraps with fetta, spinach and chicken. DELISH!
Meeting number two! I am a member of AECOM’s ANZ CONNECT committee. CONNECT is a great AECOM program that caters to young professionals across the business. We coordinate training, events and networking opportunities for grads and early career members of the company and assist in delivering a fun and supportive workplace across the region that is consistent for all offices. We talk about how we will be assisting in rolling out the CONNECT program across AECOM offices within the Asia-Pacific region, starting with Singapore and Hong Kong.
Back to project work, headphones on. In the zone!
Time to set the report aside to run a training workshop for the project team. We discuss any challenges the team have experienced to date and work through them to problem solve and provide solutions. It’s a very collaborative environment, and with everyone working together we come out with some clever ideas to go away and put into action.
It’s home time! It’s daylight savings and the weather is warming up. AECOM encourages work/life balance in and around project commitments and deadlines. I worked longer days earlier in the week to make use of our flexible work arrangements. I banked a few extra hours to leave a little early for some afternoon salt water therapy, growing up south of Sydney in a coastal town, I live for the beach, it’s my happy place. I head home, grab a towel and make my way to Coogee to enjoy the best of Sydney.
Ducking under a wave, I feel myself recharging, ready to tackle a longer day at work tomorrow!