School of Property, Construction & Project Management
An interview with Pranjal Pawar – Alumni of the Project Management Postgraduate degree.
Where are you working now?
“I work in the Government Sector as part of a Major Projects team.”
What is your role and what activities does your role entail on a daily basis?
“My role as a Construction Engineer involves managing and leading various facets of infrastructure and capital projects.”
What was your favourite part of your degree?
“My main intention in undertaking post-grad studies was to not only increase my knowledge and broaden my horizons, but to also stimulate my mind, so the course material spoke to me in a different way. Graduate school for me held
real appeal as it helped point me in the right direction and introduced me to some invaluable contacts. The RMIT course puts theory into practice, which meant it could offer me a real frontline perspective to the material.
I also look to stand on the strongest possible foundation as an individual. Undertaking further studies has not only been a way to keep my skills sharp and gain an edge to my competition, but has also helped with lifting myself up into
becoming a stronger, more dynamic member of my team at work.
At the end of the day, the more I work, the more I learn, the more I realise how much I still don’t know. It’s a humbling thought, but I find great motivation in it.”
What do you like best about your role?
“Being on a construction site, working toward a tangible, buildable goal and then eventually being able to walk through it is what holds enormous appeal to me and is what I like best about my role. Stepping onto a construction site carries a certain, special thrill. It’s so gratifying, so validating, to work a project from
the ground up and then to finally see your efforts materialise before your eyes.”
What attracted you to your role?
“The ability to get involved from the very early stages of a project life-cycle – right from zoning to financing, from bidding to design and then to construction. To me, it’s important to know and be aware of all the different phases of a project life cycle so that I get to know the people and the processes that are actually involved in running a project from the ground up.”
What is most important to you when looking for a job?
“My post-university years have been an exploratory time in my professional life. When starting out, I believe the right job is the one that’s going to teach you the most over the next few years, and the one that will expose you to the
best, most creative visionaries in your field. For me, the idea was to put myself into a position where I could learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, and be nimble enough to regroup. I’m also a firm believer in making your own
luck and making the most of your opportunities.”
Tell us about your career journey so far.
“Upon graduating, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do and how to accomplish it. I remember my first day-to-day exposure to construction, and absolutely loving it. Everything about building seemed so exciting, so interesting,
so momentous. I even enjoyed the language of the job site. And I loved the fact that I was pitching in to build something that would permanently alter the skyline of an area.
I’ve also come to learn that the better rounded and more open-minded you are, the more strongly you’ll perform in any business setting. The more experiences you have, the more experiences you’ll be able to call on in any number of
Tell us about the challenges and triumphs you have faced as a female in a male-dominated industry
“I work in a very male environment, not just on the job site, but in the office as well. Construction is a male-dominated field and I’ve worked with people who are much more knowledgeable, more intelligent, more experienced than I am. I’ve had triumphs where I’ve been able to provide a newer, fresher perspective, and an alternative way of thinking resulting in a value-added proposition for a project. I’ve discovered that enthusiasm and drive can certainly compensate for experience and learnt to graft my intellectual gifts with my personal
strengths to connect with others.
You have to be willing to adapt, learn, grow – and you have to demonstrate that willingness at every turn. Be bold, but be flexible. Be brave, but not in a reckless or cavalier way. And reimagine your career goals if you must, or even if you wish, but do so proactively, not reactively.”
If you could say one thing to young females looking to enter the industry – what would it be?
“If in doubt, always ask for help. The learning curve is steep enough without trying to slog up the hill unassisted. I have been fortunate enough to receive some straight-shooting career advice from my highly-skilled, knowledgeable industry mentor. Highly recommend finding a mentor early on.”
Anything else you would like to share?
“Keep an open mind, and don’t expect to get everything right straight out of the gate. Be prepared to start over once or twice. Learn to find excitement in the new opportunities that present themselves instead of bemoaning the things that didn’t quite work out for you on your previous course.”
Read more about the International Women’s Day event: Women Building Futures: Careers in Property, Construction and Project Management here: