HKA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS: FIDEZ ORETA, CONSULTANT

Meet Fidez Oreta, Consultant

If you enjoy ‘building stuff’ and being part of a team that is contributing to the community, then Management Consulting could be just the role for you. Meet Fidez Oreta, HKA’s project consultant who rates her background in construction as the foundation that got her to where she is today.

Tell me bit about yourself, what did you study?

I studied Civil Engineering and got into construction after completing university. Working for a construction contractor, my first jobs were on a hydraulic dam and a road project. I then decided to move into project management to refine my skills, which I felt was a natural progression from construction.

Any surprises with the transition?

The surprise for me was realising the skills I developed on-site can be easily transferred to consulting. I first thought consulting was going to be completely different, but it is in fact interchangeable. This mental barrier possibly stops a lot of people from moving into consulting.

Tell me a about a significant project or proud moment?

My second project was in the Pacific Islands, and as a developing nation there were minimal utility records kept. We mobilised to site, ready to excavate without knowing where the electrical power cables were located, which was a major safety issue. I established a system to investigate and record the location of utilities – essentially creating a “Dial Before You Dig” system from scratch. This was a big accomplishment for me as it ensured construction team remained safe.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’ve been working with Julian Hemms (HKA Associate Director) in the procurement team for the Easing Sydney’s Congestion project for Roads and Maritime Services. It is a structured role that utilises my construction skills; getting a tender package together, looking at drawings and cross checking them for consistency to ensure that it is understandable when it goes out to market. As the middle person for the Commercial and Engineering teams, I piece everything together from all the different teams and disciplines. Aligning people and gathering information, developing the package to go to market and evaluating tenders; essentially seeing it from start to finish is very rewarding.

Would you have done something differently?

I would not do anything differently but I believe developing your background is important. I always knew that I wanted to end up in the project management space and could not get there without a solid foundation.

Gaining good delivery experience and seeing the other side brings another element, which has been invaluable in my current role.

Any advice for people getting into Management Consulting?

If you don’t know someone who is already doing it, the role could seem vague in terms of what it actually entails. I’d advise people to seek out more information. There is so much more to what you can do with a Management Consulting role and I have found that it can be as exciting and dynamic as working in construction.

What motivates you?

Essentially I like building stuff! I enjoy working towards an outcome; building something that is tangible, and being part of projects that contribute to the community.

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