Meet Will


Why did you decide to join BUMA and what motivated you to continue to pursue a career?

I joined Downer in 2019 as part of a scholarship & vacation work program with UQ. It might have been the scholarship and well-paying vacation work that made me initially decide to join Downer but what kept me coming back was the business’ attitude towards developing and training undergrads/grads. I believe BUMA offers the best early-career development program in the industry.

How would you describe the culture at BUMA?

I think the backbone of the company culture is the improvement attitude. It’s all about developing the team, upskilling the people on the team so they can take the next step as well as trying to work in the smartest and most efficient way.

Can you share an experience that made you feel connected or engaged with the company culture?

When I attended the BUMA Graduate and Undergraduate conference in Brisbane as part of the graduate program. This was a great example of bringing the team together to learn off each other and off the more experienced people in the business to develop professionally.

What skills or knowledge did you bring from your academic background, and how have you further developed them during your time here?

My education at university set me up with a broad base of skills required to succeed in the mining industry (such as skills in mining engineering software). This allowed me to hit the ground running when I started as a Graduate and as a result learn more than I otherwise would have while on the Graduate program. While with the company I’ve also been given the opportunity to complete further formal and informal training on topics such as software, drill & blast and safety systems.

How has working at BUMA contributed to your professional growth and knowledge?

Working at BUMA has changed my career goals – it’s shown me there are more options and more room to grow than I realised. This means that I’m aiming higher, working harder and developing more quickly than I thought was possible before starting with the company.

What challenges have you encountered in your role, and how did you approach solving them?

One of the challenges I’ve faced is around managing my workload and completing tasks on time. My approach is just to write it all down on a list, give everything on the list a priority level then start ticking them off in order. After making the list, if it still looks like I won’t be able to get the tasks done on time then I reach out to the team to ask for help or reassess deadlines.

Can you describe a situation where you had to adapt to unexpected changes or difficulties?

A specific example was while I was learning drill and blast on site and we encountered a previously unmapped igneous intrusion. The intrusion presented a challenge as it significantly harder than the surrounding rock types and had an unknown thickness and orientation. As this situation was unlike any the site team had experienced, we reached out to the senior engineering team in the Brisbane who helped develop a strategy to map the intrusion and then to drill and blast it.

If you could offer advice to future graduates joining the company, what would it be based on your experience?

Get involved as early in your degree as possible! If you can start vacation work with BUMA while finishing your degree it’ll give you the opportunity to get ahead of the pack and hit the ground running when you start the BUMA graduate program – allowing you to get even more out of the grad program itself.