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Stantec New Zealand

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Olivia Lester

In today’s meeting, we are discussing a few initiatives that my team of local representatives are looking to implement this year, as well as the lunches, presentations, and social events we have held over the past month across the regions.

7.30 AM

I roll out of bed after snoozing my alarm for the eleventh time. I’m a little panicked as I realise I need to be showered and out the door in less than 20 minutes. I get out the door with my headphones and walking shoes on and set off on a 30-minute walk down the hill to work.

8.30 AM

At work, I make my way to the coffee machine for morning catch ups with the other coffee fiends. Onwards I travel upstairs to grab myself the last workspace by the waterfront. We hot desk, so you have to get in just early enough to nab a desk with a view. I sip my coffee and go through my emails, check my calendar, and prepare myself for the day ahead.

Stantec Olivia Lester in front of stantec logo

9.00 AM

My first meeting of the day is a progress meeting with the project manager on a project I have been working on for the last three years. We are installing 12 monitoring bores in the Hutt Valley for our client Wellington Water. This project forms part of a long-term strategy to replace the water supply bores in the Lower Hutt that supply 70% of the Wellington Regions water supply. There has been a delay in  getting the construction materials to site due to Covid, so we discuss our plan of attack to mitigate this programme risk. It is going to be a busy few weeks. 

Stantec Olivia Lester meeting 1 on 1

10.00 AM

I head downstairs back to the coffee machine for morning tea and catch up with some mates. Having a good coffee machine has been a money saver since university–instant just doesn’t do it for me. We sit down in the kitchen and discuss todays Wordle! I got it in six, which isn’t great but who actually knows what a knoll is? Sometimes we have a game of darts ‘around the world’ style, but I didn’t have time as I have a meeting soon.

Stantec Olivia Lester meeting with colleagues

10.30 AM

I head into my monthly meeting with the NZ Country Manager to discuss the Developing Professional Group (DPG). I recently accepted the role of DPG lead for New Zealand, the DPG is an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for all working professionals with less than 10 years’ experience and its aim is to develop and connect both technically and professionally with our colleagues and the global organisation. In today’s meeting, we are discussing a few initiatives that my team of local representatives are looking to implement this year, as well as the lunches, presentations, and social events we have held over the past month across the regions.

11.00 AM

After my morning meetings, I put into action what was discussed. I have call with the client discussing our setbacks and our plans for moving forward. We agree a meeting is critical with all relevant stakeholders and schedule that for the end of the week. I update the risk register and fire off a few emails and meeting invites.

12.30 PM

Time for lunch. Today it’s last night’s dinner. However, I ‘forget’ my lunch more often than I care to admit, and head to the TJ Katsu around the corner. As I sit down someone has already got the Stuff quiz up, hopefully we do better than the 10/15 score yesterday. Lunch is always a great to time to catch up with friends from other disciplines.

1.00 PM

After lunch, I quickly change into my site clothes, grab my notebook, hi viz, safety boots, hard hat, safety glasses and car keys, go down to the carpark and head out to site. When I arrive, the site manager walks me through all the hazards for the day and I sign the health and safety register. The team is changing drill rigs today as the current one is unable to gain traction in the gravels to continue drilling. The new drill rig is bigger and will allow us to continue drilling to a depth of 110m where we hopefully find the aquifer we have been looking for.

Stantec Olivia Lester photo of drill

3.30 PM

Mid-afternoon is always when I am most productive. I put on my headphones and smash out some work. Today, I am doing a desktop assessment for the Department of Corrections on one of their prison sites. We are investigating their 3 waters network to help determine their programme for renewals and growth to ensure it reaches an appropriate level of service for all prison sites across the country. This involves reviewing their as-built plans, the fault history data, consent plans, flood risk data and business continuity plan for each water asset. I document all my findings and note down any concerning issues, all to be brought together in a final report for the client. 

Stantec Olivia Lester working on her desk

5.15 PM

I have a quick catch-up with my project technical lead before they leaveabout what I have found in the desktop assessment so far, and mention that I have found something interesting on the water supply plans. I organise a meeting for the next day so we can discuss further. Once that is done it’s time to log off.

5.30 PM

I jump in the car with some of my teammates from our work hockey team. We arrive just in time to warm up before our 6.00pm hockey game. It was a close game but unfortunately it was not a win for the Stansticks today. We head up to the clubrooms to grab a drink and hot chips, while discussing tactics (not) but more importantly have a catch up and laugh.

Stantec Olivia Lester playing hockey

7.00 PM

All I want to do when I get home is lay on the couch and watch Love Island, but I can’t as I have to cook the flat dinner tonight! We are having chicken wraps – a nice easy meal to cook. My flatmate arrives home, and we chuck some music on and catch up on the day. It’s a great way to wind down and relax.

8.30 PM

Dinners and dishes are done, so it’s time to curl up on the couch and watch our current flat TV series Friends. Someone cracks out the Whitakers chocolate, which is great as I had none left. And we discuss/argue about which ‘friend’ we are. Obviously, I am Phoebe but no one seems to agree…

11.30 PM

It’s time for bed, although I will probably be on my phone scrolling Instagram for half an hour before I actually sleep. I close my eyes knowing I will rinse and repeat tomorrow.

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