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Aidan Maher, Site Manager - Grad Entry
Construction, Architecture & Property

Aidan Maher, Site Manager - Grad Entry

Aiden Maher holds a degree in Construction Management from UL and has recently completed a part time masters degree in Project Management. Aiden's job involves acting as a co-ordinator between all parties to ensure construction projects run as smoothly as possible.

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What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Choosing to study Construction Management in college after secondary school which led to some work experience with a construction company who I manged to get a job with after college.

After a couple of years working in the industry I decided to further my education by undertaking a masters in Project Management which has helped me climb the ladder to Project Manager within my company.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My family and my part time employers during my years prior to college. I also sought advice from an independent career guidance counsellor who directed me in the path of construction. During my first few years with my current company I have been greatly influenced by my peers.

How did you go about getting your current job?

Luckily I made my way up through the ranks within my company since I finished college. I completed my work experience with the company and they asked me to return once I completed the course.

Describe a typical day?

A typical day would start with planning the day’s work ahead for all labour and sub-contractors on site and ensuring that they have the required material and tools to carry out their work.

Next would be to check up on correspondence/ e-mails which must be attended to.

Generally then I would review information that is required to keep progress going on site which would entail requesting or giving information to the design team.

Depending on the size of the project that you are on you could have to attend meetings every day or less frequently depending on scale of project.

Having the required information and research done for each meeting is vital. Creating and maintaining progress reports also falls under my role which is important to keep the project team up to speed on where the project is at any given time.

Each day you would have to allocate time to plan ahead where you would look 2 weeks ahead and beyond.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Looking after the overall running of the project and ensuring that everyone has the required information to carry out their roles. Basically acting as a coordinator between all parties and ensuring that the project runs as smoothly as possible.

What are the main challenges?

The main challenge for me is time management. I have a large number of responsibilities to carry out and due to the varied nature of any given project it can be hard to stick to a plan on a daily basis.

Once you deviate from a plan you must try and catch up some other time which tends to lead to additional hours. I don’t mind this because I prefer to be on top of things rather than lagging behind.

What's cool?

I really like the challenge of staying ahead of the programme and even gaining ground where possible. Each project is different so as a job you are never stuck completing the same tasks day in day out.

There is a lot of problem solving and thinking on your feet is a must. There is a nice balance between office and site works. 

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Planning and coordinating site works.

Communicating with all people involved within a project.

Resolving issues which arise from time to time on the projects

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

I studied metal work up until Junior Cert level however when choosing my options for Leaving Cert it did not work out with other subjects so I had to drop it.

For Leaving Cert I studied all higher level subjects excluding Irish. My option subjects were Geography, Ag Science, French and Music.

I suppose Geography was the closest subject to touch on the topic of Construction. I took French on so as to keep options open on what colleges I could attend. If I had my time back I would have dropped this for construction studies or metal work as I found it hard to gain good marks in the subject.

To close out the question I don’t believe the subjects I chose had a huge influence on my career path.

What is your education to date?

I completed my Leaving Cert in 2006 at Cashel Community School followed by a degree in Construction Management with Engineering in 2010 at the University Of Limerick. I also completed my master’s degree in Project Management in 2015.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Work experience during my 4th year in school and also work experience during my college years stood to me the most. You get a greater understanding of what your job entails.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Completing my masters this year was a big reward in my career so far. Also receiving a promotion to become a Project Manager within my company was great. Receiving an excellent appraisal from clients and design team on my last 2 projects also stands out.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

I am confident and enthusiastic. I'm an outgoing person, not afraid to speak my mind. I have interests in a vast amount of areas like sport and music etc.

What is your dream job?

I would hope to become a contracts manager next but in the long run I would like to either run my own construction company or at least be a director for the company which I am currently working for. 

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes I can vary my hours to suit my lifestyle when required. I make a large amount of decisions independantly each day.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Try gain experience in some area of construction if possible to see if it’s for you. If you’re interested in a 9-5 job this is not for you!

If you like meeting with new people each day and dealing with issues which they may have regarding the project this is a good job for you. If you like to take charge of situations then this is also a good role for you to take on.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Be willing to put in as many hours as it takes in order for projects to be successful, you get out of it what you put in.

Be willing to work in a team environment, be willing to take responsibility for your actions and the actions of others around you.

What is your pet hate at work?

Not being organised for a meeting or things being left around the site! Other people not pulling their weight and doing their jobs!

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

I have undertaken a part time masters over the last 2 years. As part of my role I must take part in continued professional development (CPD) which ensures that professional personal continue to develop themselves after they have obtained their degree and job.

Construction like many other industries is always evolving and so you have to be willing to learn new techniques to complete your role efficiently and effectively,

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Work in a construction firm for a summer or work in a DIY or construction store.  Get a job on a site for a summer to see what goes on. Any management type of experience would be also be benefcial. 

What is your current job title?

Site Manager

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