From architecture to project management
Dean Kelly transformed his career from an architect to a successful and well-paid project manager.
Dean Kelly was looking to advance his career. Working as an architect at a local council, he felt like his career was stagnating.
“I was at Council working and – I would say – spinning my wheels at times,” Dean said.
“I really did want to take on more responsibility, and I really felt like, okay, this is time to work out what I want to be doing and how I can go forward personally and in my career.”
At the insistence of a colleague, Dean decided to do a Diploma in Project Management with Link Education.
“A coworker convinced me to do it. I actually wasn’t thinking of a Diploma, but in hindsight, I’m very happy I did,” he said.
The perks of project management
Upon completing the Diploma, Dean landed a new job as a project manager with a firm that specialises in project management.
“It’s a diverse range of projects, but more building focused,” Dean said about his new workplace.
“For myself, working on a lot of building development projects at all phases from strategic business case phase, the design planning phase and then onto the execution/construction phase.”
Dean says the new role has been a worthwhile change for several reasons.
“I’ve enjoyed transitioning from working as an architect into a project manager role.”
“It’s probably because I enjoy those interactions and the number of duties that I’ve had in my project manager role that I just didn’t get as an architect.”
“I quite enjoy that interactivity and the hustle of working in a project manager role.”
“And money doesn’t hurt either. I get paid more than what I ever did working as an architect.”
“If you compare it to my architect salary, wow, that’s, yeah. Certainly quite a change.”
One notable project Dean has been involved with is a major hospital expansion project.
“Our role in that project has been managing the design team, engineers, surveyors, planners, a range of different people,” Dean said.
“I’ve really enjoyed that project because I’ve been able to draw on my architecture experience to allow them to expand into an adjoining building.”
What difference does a qualification make?
Dean said that his Diploma with Link Education has been crucial to his success in his new role.
“If you take my experience as an example, working as an architect, you don’t really get project management training, and often people that find themselves transitioning into becoming a project manager don’t really get taught the framework.”
“Like how to keep change registers and issue registers, how to take meeting minutes, how to manage stakeholder expectations. Hundreds of little things.”
“Some of it’s not rocket science, but it’s just stuff that wouldn’t ever come to my mind. But yeah, it was very, very useful.”
Particularly valuable for Dean was the practical element of his Diploma.
“It’s one thing to weld the information in your mind, but applying all that is another thing.”
“I did a case study on a local arts centre, which was a project that was done before my time at Council.”
“That was a really good opportunity to analyse where that project fell down and to apply all the information that I learned to that project.”