Angela Guo: young cadet starts her future in construction

Angela Guo is one of the young guns of Piety THP working in the construction team.

We asked the young cadet to tell us a bit about herself, and her time and experience working at Piety THP. She shares her thoughts about being a woman in a male-dominated industry and her plans for her future in construction.

1) First off, tell us a bit about your professional background. For example, what was your very first job?

I was in retail for 4 years working as a sales consultant selling furniture and bedding. I also did some administration work for my brother’s business. The interpersonal and communication skills that I gained from working in retail has definitely helped me in the construction industry.

2) How did you get into construction?

I was starting my 3rd year of Bachelor of Construction Project Management and I found that it was the perfect time to implement my two years of construction knowledge from university to a real-life project. At the time, Piety THP was seeking a 3rd year student to join the company and I was very lucky to be selected to take on the position as a cadet for Piety THP. Now here I am, working for a company with an abundance of growth and opportunities ahead.  

3) Why did you get into construction?

Being involved in the day-to-day task to develop and build for the community and our future generation is extremely rewarding. Not everybody can say “Hey, I helped build this building” or “I was involved in delivering this building to life”. That’s why I see the construction industry as a very special profession. It is also the industry where hard work is recognised and pays off.

4) Why did you decide to do your cadetship with Piety THP? Was there something in particular that attracted you to the company?

What attracted me to Piety THP was that it was a new company and it offered a unique cadetship program. The fact that it was a new company really made me feel I could grow with the company and work really close with everyone. The unique cadetship program involves working in developments for 12 months to oversee the front-end development work prior to starting a site and liaising with authorities throughout construction. This is then followed by another 12 months in construction overseeing the entire construction process from ground works to delivering a defect-free building to the client. Being involved in both sides as a cadet is an advantage to my career.  

5) What is your day-to-day like? Break down your day for us.

I am currently working on one of our biggest staged developments, One the Waterfront at Wentworth Point ($700 million project value) and preparing for our new development in North Strathfield ($150 million project value). Not every day is the same and that’s what I love about my job, but a very general day-to-day lately involves the following:

Monday in head office: Catch up on emails, liaising with consultants regarding compliance statements and design certificates for our CCs, generate weekly sales/purchaser upgrade reports to the PM, and assisting my development manager with important/urgent tasks.  

Tuesday in head office: Putting together project invoices for sign off and processing, preparing progress-walk matrix for Wednesday and Thursday site visit, liaising with authorities, and minuting the weekly steering committee meeting with the head of each department.

Wednesday on site: Weekly defect meeting, client-side defect walks for near-complete buildings, liaising with construction team, start on progress-walk for one building.

Thursday on site: Spend the whole day finishing the progress-walk for the remaining three buildings.

Friday: Catch up on emails, generate sales/purchaser upgrades report to the PM, and spend the rest of the day quantifying the scores for each building into a table and creating a graphical report from the site walk.

6) What do the next 5 years hold for you?

I plan to focus on gaining as much experience and knowledge as possible within the next 5 years. It would be a period of learning and working with different people. So, I’m hoping to have worked on at least a few projects in various roles to have a good understanding of both procurement and management side of things.

7) What do the next 20 years look like?

If all goes well in my career, it would be a dream to work in the UK for a few years to experience what construction is like and how they work outside Australia. I think it would be a very eye-opening experience. Depending on where my interest goes, I would also love to start my own business somewhere down the track.  

8) You are in a male-dominated industry – what would you like to say to the women in Australia who are thinking of getting into construction?

Getting into the construction industry is the best decision I’ve ever made, and I don’t see myself leaving this industry at all. It is the perfect mix of challenge and excitement that keeps you going, and that is what you want in your career to keep you motivated.

Women thinking of getting into construction is already the first step to breaking stereotypes, now the next step is to pop on a hardhat and be confident. I personally have not come across any discrimination towards women in construction, but I feel with a confident and resilient energy, it will never be a problem to you.  

Although young and new to the industry, Angela oversees important property development projects at Piety THP. Unintimidated by the male-dominance of the workforce, Angela boosts her early career steps and gains confidence as a woman in construction. The cadetship program at Piety THP provides real, relevant and hands-on work to the young and new in construction.