Bounding ahead

Martin Svehla Civil, eNews, News

Sam Molony — back row, third from the right

“It’s really intense but really cool. If you give it a try, you won’t regret it.”

That’s how 34-year-old Sam Molony describes her recent experience completing Outward Bound, after being awarded an Outward Bound Scholarship through Connexis.

“Outward Bound is a real mental, emotional and physical journey; a real rollercoaster,” she says. “It was really interesting and really engaging, but the whole time you’re really pushing yourself outside your limits.

“At the end of our course, one guy said it best: ‘I didn’t just do it. I lived it’.”

Sam, who has completed levels 2, 3 of an Infrastructure Works apprenticeship through Connexis, and has nearly completed level 4.

Prior to completing the Outward Bound course, Sam was working for Downer in Taupō as a construction foreperson. Since returning she has taken on more responsibilities, helping her project manager and contract manager by overseeing jobs and doing all the required paperwork, working with other departments, learning and helping with their jobs also.

Completing the Outward Bound professional course has given her a new boost of confidence in her decisions and some valuable insights into how different types of people work together, says Sam, who has been at Downer Taupō for about two and a half years, and was with Downer in Dunedin for three years before that.

“We had lots of discussions in the [Outward Bound] workshops about how people deal with each other. We talked about recognising different mindsets within a team, and how you can pair people to create strong bonds.”

It’s knowledge Sam is already able to put into practice in her current role with Downer. “Now I’m really enjoying putting teams together at work that I know will mesh well. I look at who’s going to work well together and how to put together teams that will get the best results for our jobs,” she says.

A dairy farmer before going into Civil Construction, Sam has worked in a lot of different aspects of Civil Construction with Downer as she worked through her apprenticeship, including chip sealing, mechanical engineering, and residential sewage and drainage.

“I initially came in to do traffic management, but they didn’t need me on that straight away, so I ended up just working on things to help the other guys out.

“A lot of it is quite physical work, but that doesn’t scare me, just get stuck in. I just really like that you’re constantly learning and meeting different people. They all help me understand what they do, so I can do my job better.”

“There’s always something new to learn. You think you’re good at something and someone will come along and show you a different way to do it.”

While she is still working out what she wants to tackle next in her job, Sam has no hesitation in recommending young women give Civil Construction a try if they’re considering career options.

“Just give it a go. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help, and ask lots of questions. If you show initiative and interest by asking questions, someone will take you under their wing.

“There’s a lot of older guys who have knowledge to pass on, and someone has to take over from them one day.

“If you can try doing some work experience while you’re at school, or try a Connexis Girls with Hi Vis event, just to get an idea of what it’s all about.”