AJ Spicer, Project Manager

Team/location: Northern team - Northshore Hospital; Totara Haumaru Project

“I wanted to join Hawkins because they had the best projects going in the city at the time like the Auckland Art Gallery project, the Britomart Westpac buildings above the downtown train station, and also the Auckland Museum project.” Says Project Manager, AJ Spicer who has now worked at Hawkins for over 16 years.

Having completed a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Auckland, during his time with us AJ has worked on a whole range of diverse projects including Hospitals, Schools, Auckland Council Projects, Electrical infrastructure, and various city multistorey projects. However, he tells us “My favourite project has been the Northshore Hospital, mainly due to the team – it’s the best I’ve had the privilege of working with so far.

“I enjoy coming to work every day with genuine people who know how to get through an honest day’s work while having fun on the way. The company has continued to evolve, and I have seen us go from strength to strength over the years, with refined systems and high performing teams steadily improving.”

As Project Manager, AJ’s role currently involves managing his project team positively and supporting them to successfully perform all the varied functions required to deliver the project safely, on schedule, to high quality levels, within budget, with teamwork, and to a very satisfied client.

When we asked him, what has surprised him most about working for Hawkins he told us “I have been surprised by how much I’ve continued to learn as my career has progressed. I feel now that I’m learning just as much each day as I did when I first started in construction.

“When you start off it’s very much the case that you don’t know what you don’t know. As time passes, and with experience, you start to realise how much more there is to learn, which is stimulating and exciting. Construction is so multifaceted, and there are lots of different niche roles that suit different people with different talents.”

For people thinking about joining the construction industry, he has these key pieces of advice:
1. You’ll be rewarded with a good sense of purpose in your work and tangible achievement.
2. You’ll enjoy lots of variation in your career as projects move through the different phases to completion and each new job is different.
3. You’ll be challenged by deadlines but be taught the skills to deal with that.
4. You’ll need to be patient with a long-term view of success as it takes many years to steadily build your skills and experience.
5. You’ll be successful if you’re a team player with a helpful attitude and good work ethic
6. You’ll enjoy the calm sense of satisfaction when you successfully complete a project which will s stay with you as your career builds.

Reflecting on his Hawkins career with pride, AJ has collected many stories over the years of which he thinks there could be a spinoff mockumentary project called “The Site Office.” “If only we could get Ricky Gervais to direct it – you wouldn’t need to cast anyone, they’re all there on site!” he says.

You can check out many of the projects AJ has had the pleasure of working on over on our Projects page and if you think you’re ready for a career in construction, check out our vacancies page and join our high performing team!