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My Cadet Perspective: Gearing up for bigger things with Georgia Mkandla

November 07, 2022

Tackling tasks and having fun, at work and play

Stantec in New Zealand (NZ) pays cadets to work for the Company as well as paying their student fees, meaning graduates come out debt free, work-ready, and qualified.

Georgia began her cadetship in 2019, working at Stantec while the Company supported her to complete her studies and earn a diploma in civil engineering at Wintec—Stantec Aotearoa’s cadet scheme is an incredible opportunity to work for a professional services firm while studying.

Now, having graduated from the cadet programme, Georgia is a civil engineer technician working in our Hamilton office. Read her My Cadet Perspective story below to get inspired and join us!

6:00 AM

Time to wake up—after a few rounds of snoozing the alarm. It’s the usual morning routine for me, my husband, and our dog, Nala, who goes to doggy day care.

7:30 AM

Arrive at work. I head up to the office, grab a hot drink, and settle in at my desk to see what I need to tackle today. Since graduating from the cadet programme, my day is fuller. I start with drawings for three different projects, so I check my emails to see if there are any new tasks to complete or any feedback from the project managers before working on those drawings. 

9:00 AM

Morning meeting. Our Transport team meets to discuss workloads. I either try to get more work so I can be busy—or try and avoid more if my plate is full. I have multiple projects on the go, some bigger than others, ranging from safety improvements around Hamilton, to design and drawing work on state highways. This usually involves receiving mark-ups of a design to draw up on AutoCAD. Once the initial drawings have been setup, it’s back and forth between me, others, or the clients to improve the design. 

10:00 AM

Grab a coffee refill. I hope someone has brought some delicious home baking—food brings us together—or, sigh, it’s just my muesli bar. Time for a quick catch up with anyone in the break room, then it’s back to work for me.

10:30 AM

Off to a site visit—with a new job raising safety platforms, we head to the site to take measurements, levels, and photos. We take levels to measure the high point on the road, where the raised platform will control any potential ponding issues. Then we note any concerns around traffic effects and pedestrians. Once we have the data we need and get back to the office, it’ll be time to start the drawings.

12:00 PM

Lunch time. No dinner leftovers for me, so I eat Uncle Ben’s rice with tomatoes and cucumber, while I visit with co-workers. We have our monthly team lunch and activity tomorrow—we’re going to play mini putt-putt.

1:00 PM

After lunch, I continue to work on different project drawings or help others with some documents that relate to the project if the drawings have hit a pause. I have fortnightly meetings with my manager to go over completed tasks. Meetings used to happen weekly or daily, as needed, but now they’re reduced as I get more comfortable with the work. She gives me advice on where I can improve my work or expand on areas I’m working on. I finalise a few more drawings and get as much done as possible from any mark-ups received, so I can send the edited drawings back to the project managers for their feedback.  

4:30 PM

Day’s end. I pack up my computer, give my desk a quick tidy, and I’m done for the day. Time to pick up Nala and head home.  

Since graduating from the cadet programme, my day is fuller—I have multiple projects on the go.

6:00 PM

Finish my day with footy. Once I’m home and changed, I meet up with a few colleagues for our weekly football game. Since we joined the Tuesday league at an indoor football place, we’ve improved our footy skills—we’ve gone from the bottom to second place in our table. We all have a lot of fun whether we win or lose. Playing football with colleagues has helped me get to know everyone better and often leads to some inside jokes. It helps keep me a bit fitter, too! After getting bruised from being in the ball’s way, I head home to relax with my husband and Nala.

7:00 PM

Arrive home, shower, and eat dinner. Tonight, it’s an easy meal, so not much kitchen clean-up. Finally, I sit down to watch some Criminal Minds episodes with my husband and then get ready for bed.

10:30 PM

Time to sleep. Tomorrow will present more opportunities and challenges, but I’ll tackle them better after a good night’s sleep—I’m up for it!

If you want to learn more about how to join Stantec as a cadet, study as you work, and graduate with career prospects and a work-life balance like Georgia’s, visit our Students & Graduates page.

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