A day in the life of a cadet

15 Mar 2019

Are you currently studying and wondered what the real-life application of your studies looks like? We chat to Junior Quantity Surveyor Doris Tang who is currently completing her cadetship whilst studying a Bachelor of Urban Development (QS) at QUT. Since joining GRC in 2017, Doris has been assisting our team leaders to deliver measurement, cost control and post contract administration services across the Resources and Infrastructure sectors.

7:45 – 8:00am

Arrive at work after commuting via train and a short walk to the office.  I action anything that is urgent and then begin to plan out my day and finish off small tasks not yet completed from the day before.  My diverse role can include anything from measuring a bridge structure in New Zealand, to preparing a cost plan for a new metro train station in NSW, or mine infrastructure work associated with a resources project in South Australia.


I make a quick coffee in the kitchen and head back to my desk to prepare for our Section meeting at 10am.


The Resource and Infrastructure section hold regular business development strategy meetings where we discuss our positioning and current opportunities.  I am appreciative of the opportunity to attend and contribute at these meetings and learn from best practices in this area from our senior staff in the business.  With several staff in our team unable to attend the meeting due to site secondment roles or site meetings, I am responsible for noting any actions in the meeting and distributing these notes to the team.


I attend a project briefing with one of our senior staff who brings me up to speed on a road project in NSW where we are providing cost planning services. In this project briefing, the client has requested re-measures to a number of bridge structures and other disciplines which may have changed throughout the projects’ design development phases.


Time for lunch!  One of the things I love most about the GRC culture is the genuine care, approachability and fun evident around the office.  Whilst not an avid sports fanatic myself, a lot of the staff are watching the re-runs of NRL matches from last year.  There is always someone there to talk about what’s coming up on the weekend, best brunch places on the Gold Coast, or what projects they are currently working on.


After lunch I assist one of the Directors with some claims work associated with a subdivision on the Gold Coast. The contractor undertaking the project experienced delays and disruption to the planned works as a result of latent conditions, timing issues and design changes. I am tasked with providing further substantiation and justification for selected cost overruns experienced by the project.


I attend a project meeting with one of the senior quantity surveyors in the office for a project which I recently provided measurement support to. The client is also present in this meeting, and we talk through the steps taken to complete the measurement provided to date and go through any notable clarifications and exclusions. This is really insightful for me because sometimes questions can not just be answered simply via email – it was great to have a face to face discussion in order to resolve any queries and/or concerns.


I begin to close out any tasks that I still have outstanding from during the day, whether it be preparing job folders for projects, distributing notes or bulk checking another team member’s work. I recap what I’ve learnt about during the day – my daily role is to constantly learn: how to improve, make mistakes and help the quantity surveyors around me.