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Career lions

Why I am engineering a career in construction

Why I am engineering a career in construction

Back in 2010 I saw an episode of National Geographic's Megastructures on the construction of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. That exact time was the moment I knew I had to do something in this field. The way the construction project was presented seemed so complex and cool at the same time, I decided to choose a Master’s degree in construction management and engineering. As for my love of the Marina Bay Sands, that has only even grown more ever since I finally got to see it in real life in 2015 (let’s not even get started on how teary eyed I got). I am sure that loads of you are in a phase where they need to decide what field to specialize in for their future career. Let me try to convince you that construction is (at least) worth the consideration.


Working in construction usually means working project-based. This means that there is a fast paced dynamic with focus on project delivery. You get to meet a lot of new and diverse people, which keeps the work interesting at all times.


The construction industry is very broad; it has many disciplines and variety in work. One can be involved in the risk management of a bridge, thinking about the construction phases of a railway underpass or designing prefab elements of an immersed tunnel. Or how about process improvement for asphalt factories and railway maintenance? There’s something in it for everyone.


The idea of building a piece of real estate like a hospital or infrastructure like a viaduct, it is all about bringing people together, connecting them and making life easier and more beautiful. To be able to contribute to this while constructing awesome works is great.


In general, people in (Dutch) construction have quite a down to earth mentality. This means that people are straightforward and are not concerned about too much corporate politics. The best part is that the dress code in the office is pretty casual, compared to the banking world for example.


The coolest innovations can be applied. Examples are augmented reality tours with the HoloLens in empty fields to showcase future wind turbines and the application steelfibre reinforced shortcrete for tunnel ramps. 


You get to bring ideas and art pieces to life. Just imagine when Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gets in the construction phase to connect this high-speed connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Being able to potentially take part of bringing such ideas to life is epic.


Sightseeing during holidays and city trips is so much more fun, since you are better educated on the technology and engineering behind it. How much of sightseeing entails architectural highlights and infrastructure works? It at least doubles the fun.


My favourite thing in the world is to be able to do project site visits. As most of my job requires me to work in the office, project visits to me are the equivalent of a five-year-old going to Disney World.  And I am more than happy to bust out my work boots and kick off the heels for this. Some of these project visits include the land reclamation for Bronka Habour (St. Petersburg, Russia), a new underground metro station (Moscow, Russia), Unilever’s new Asian HQ (Jakarta, Indonesia), Lotte World Tower (Seoul, South-Korea), Jebel Ali Terminal 4 quay wall (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and many more. It’s like sightseeing for work, now who wouldn’t love that?

As you might have noticed, I am quite the enthusiast when it comes to the construction industry. So after finishing my Master’s degree there was no other option for me than to go and work for a contractor, a choice I am very happy with every day. What field do you work in, or would you like to make a career in? What were your reasons? We’re curious to find out, so let us know in the comment section below!

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