Project Manager Sophie Rex is from Melbourne, Australia, where she currently lives with her husband and young daughter. She worked as a geotechnical consultant for six years before joining Keller. We caught up with Sophie to discuss her varied role and the joy of being a working mum.
Could you give us a brief recap of your career?
I got into engineering because a family friend suggested it might be something I’d like, and I was good at maths and science at school. I've never looked back. After graduating university in 2008 I went straight to work as a geotechnical consultant for Golder Associates, which included spending some time in Guinea – a really interesting, humbling experience. I joined Keller in 2014.
Can you tell us about what you do at Keller?
I’m responsible for the overall project management of foundation projects across Melbourne and Victoria, that includes lots of things like the sequencing of works, procurement and coordinating the design and field crews. I also look after the financial side of things, carry out testing and deal with the client. Occasionally, I’ll do some of the design and estimating work.
So are you mostly on site?
It’s a mix. I tend to go out to site in the mornings and the rest of the day is spent in the office or working from home. Typically I look after a couple of projects at a time, most of them are located in and around the Melbourne CBD.
What’s a typical day like?
Drop my daughter at childcare, then it’s off to a site where I’ll catch up with the foreman about the plan for the next few days, make sure the crew have everything they need and speaking with the client.
Then there’s lots of phone calls with colleagues and suppliers, before heading back to the office or home for all the office-based jobs.
You came back to work full time after having a baby last year. How have you found the work-life balance?
It’s been a balancing act, and it was a little difficult initially, but you just have to adjust how your day looks. I’m lucky to have a supportive husband and a family who’ve helped juggle the childcare arrangements. I love being a working mum; the balance of work and family life is very important for me – I need the stimulation of work to keep me sane!
What’s the best part of the job?
Definitely the people. We all work well together and help each other out. It’s a great team environment.
Congratulations on your recent promotion to Project Manager, how did this make you feel?
I have always felt supported by my management and I appreciate the time taken to review my position. I have enjoyed the opportunities provided during my Keller career path and the project experiences I have gained.