Angus Cox joined CPB Contractors as part of the CIMIC Graduate program at the beginning of 2022. Having just finished his first year, he spoke about what he’s learnt, what he’s enjoyed and what he’s looking forward to.
How did you come to join CPB Contractors?
I graduated from the University of New South Wales in commerce, majoring in accounting, and was just scrolling through LinkedIn. I saw the CIMIC Group graduate program and how many major infrastructure projects CPB Contractors was working on, and so I pressed the application button and away I went.
I was impressed with how the graduate program was structured, with rotations in different parts of the business, and thought that this was a great opportunity to explore all sorts of angles within a major company.
How did you find the transition from university life to working in a corporate office?
Going from university to work is a big change but it was also an easy transition because the team showed me the ropes, told me what my tasks are, and gave guidance. My team has been a great support network.
What have you been doing in your first year?
I’ve been working in the Group Procurement Team and deal with major projects all around Australia, from road projects in Victoria to big resources jobs in Western Australia. The range of projects and issues means it is very practical and involves daily engagement with lots of different people and companies.
I also do a lot of work with Felix, which is the e-procurement system, and have onboarded more than 1,500 suppliers. Getting the suppliers pre-qualified is key because it means they only have to do it once. It reduces the paperwork and is much more efficient. It's a way to streamline everything and means that when a project gets underway the lead times are reduced and everything happens faster.
What's important about your work?
Problem solving. I enjoy dealing with any problems that arise and making sure the procurement process is undertaken as quickly and efficiently as possible. Finding the most effective solution, so the projects keep moving, is a big part of what the procurement team does. When you make sure something happens the way it should, you know that you have made a real contribution.
What’s been the thing that has given you the most satisfaction in your work?
I did an analysis of the procurement of asphalt and created an accessible library of information about it. I looked at the market, at the categories and visited an asphalt plant. My aim was to understand the projects that a substantial amount of asphalt in the past and figure out the best strategy to procure in the future, given all the different situations that can arise on a project. This sort of information is strategically important. It is what you need to make the best procurement decisions for the long-term, and it was professionally rewarding to get it done.
What’s next for you?
My next rotation is with the corporate accounting team responsible for financial planning and analysis and project accounting. It will provide exposure to all the various functions within corporate finance, so it is going to be good to see how it all works.
What’s your advice for other people looking at the graduate program?
Don’t limit yourself and don’t think too narrowly. CPB Contractors is such a large business it means that you get exposure to projects Australia-wide. A broad range of activity is important. You’ll learn more about Australia, and that opens up lots of different opportunities.