Project Manager

Project Manager

Randall Ah Mu, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Trust Board

In a nutshell: Managing construction projects for my church and community.

Why? "The problem solving skills you learn can be applied in so many situations, which makes you a person in high demand."

Pathway: Auckland Grammar School, Final year subjects: Calculus, Chemistry, English, PE, Physics, Statistics
University of Auckland: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), specialising in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
AUT - Auckland University of Technology: Postgraduate Certificate in Illumination Engineering

Earning: $80-90,000

Being an engineer-turned-project-manager means I can help out my community while earning a decent wage. I manage construction projects for my church and oversee the building or renovation of church meeting houses, schools, car parks, play areas, offices, housing and humanitarian projects.

I'm responsible for the projects right from the original concept stage, through to design, getting the necessary consents and permits, construction and handover to the community.

I make sure that the projects are completed to a high standard, and that they are built on time and within the budget. The budgets range from tens of thousands for a small renovation right up to several million dollars for new facilities.

I get to travel to the Pacific Islands to manage projects, as well as working here in New Zealand. So far I've been to Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu. I'm half Samoan and am married to a beautiful Tongan woman, so I am looking forward to the opportunity to do some work in Samoa or Tonga in the future!

I worked for several large engineering consultancies and a lighting manufacturer/supplier before moving into project management.

Engineering is such a great background for such a variety of careers, including project management. Not only do the problem solving and analytical skills help but it also builds great team-work skills. Effective communication is really important when working with teams of architects, engineers, and the various contractors and suppliers.

Keep your options open by continuing with maths and science subjects to Year 13. There is such a shortage of good technical people in our country and the Pacific. The opportunities are huge and the money's not too bad either!

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the opinions of Randall Ah Mu and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Trust Board or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted September 2011

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Degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering