Welcome to the first edition of “My Path to TBH”, where we talk to TBH’s Interns and Junior Consultants about their roles and how they joined TBH.
Today, we talk about Christian Smith’s journey to becoming a Project Management consultant for TBH.
What’s your current role at TBH?
I am a Project Management Consultant based in TBH’s Sydney office. My work so far has included planning and scheduling, cost control as well as work within the risk management and strategic advisory spaces. In my most recent role, I have helped support TBH’s clients improve their cost reporting and accuracy of data by implementing automated processes across the entirety of their cost control reporting cycles.
When did you first get interested in Project Management?
I think I just naturally gravitated towards it; I have always had a passion for collaborating with people and I have also found that a lot of my strengths aligned with the skills required to become a project manager – most notably time management, planning and being a good communicator.
I also have a background in construction as I used to work part-time as an assistant Estimator while I was completing my studies. Even back then, I always admired the organisational and self-management skills of the project managers I worked with and knew that I wanted to get a similar exposure to what they were experiencing.
Was there anything in particular that drew you toward a career in Consulting?
That is a good question. I knew from an early stage in my studies that I wanted to get into consulting as I had done a lot of research and found that consulting was a suitable pathway for me to gain exposure to a variety of projects. I also wanted to get into consulting so that I could gain a larger view of the construction industry rather than be constrained to a specific sector.
Are there any Projects at TBH that you are particularly proud of working on?
Definitely – as I noted earlier, I recently worked as a cost controller to help manage the costs for five major road upgrades across Australia. I am particularly proud of the work I did to automate the systems and processes across the reporting cycle for that cost control program, as this vastly expedited the reporting process and improved the accuracy of the information that was relayed to the executive team.
I have also supported the development of new documents that will be used as part of an organisation’s governance restructure. I am proud of this project as the services I have provided will influence the future processes of this organisation and I have been able to gain a greater insight into how large-scale organisations operate from a management perspective, which has been especially interesting.
While working at TBH, what types of software have you learned to use?
Since working at TBH, I have been exposed to MS Project and Primavera P6 alongside the Microsoft Suite. While I had used MS Project at University, seeing the applications of the software in how it is used at TBH has really reshaped my understanding of the potential utility and applications of these tools, and I have also seen this with the use of Word in its ability to create Project Management Templates. However, my greatest improvement has been my grasp on the use of Excel. While I was familiar with this software prior to starting at TBH, I now feel comfortable being able to identify the functions required to produce and pull apart large data sets – something that previously I had not even been able to conceptualise.
Any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Project Managers?
Arguably the most crucial tip I would want to share with aspiring Project Management Consultants is to always question the way projects are being done and the processes being used within them. This is something that I have learned since I started at TBH and is something I wish I could tell my younger self. The ability to gauge if there is a more efficient or prudent way to do something is a skill that can be applied in any project and can also be used in everyday life, so I would highly recommend aspiring Project Managers look to adopt this mindset.