Name: Julian Thom

Age: 32

City/town: Mount Maunganui

What’s your job? Surveyor / Project Manager at S&L Consultants.

How did you get into this line of work? I went to the careers advisor at school, who suggested surveying based on my interests in art, sports and maths. The skill sets I developed at school have helped me in my career. Graphics, for example, helped me develop really good spatial literacy, a key ingredient for surveying!

What does a typical working day look like for you? Currently I design stormwater, wastewater and road networks for a large-scale residential subdivision. It is a really cool seeing the things that you design being built. When I worked as a cadastral surveyor, my day would consist of searching old survey plans, calculating boundary information, carrying out field measurements, and helping my clients through the subdivision process. I love the variety in this job.

What qualifications or training did you need? I recently graduated from Otago University with a Bachelor of Surveying with Honours, having previously completed a National Diploma in Surveying at Unitech, Auckland.

What are the best bits about your job? I love the outdoors, I love helping people and that’s why I love my job. To me, surveying is the perfect marriage of land and people. It’s a career that makes a difference to the way we understand, use and administer land.

What are the worst bits? I enjoy all the challenges that surveying presents.

What’s your biggest career goal? Recently winning a Survey and Spatial NZ Young Professional’s competition, I will be attending a Working Week conference in Vietnam, where I will be working with surveyors from across the world to develop ways to solve complex surveying problems. I am also working towards obtaining licensing accreditation so I will be able to sign survey plans.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you most likely be doing? I nearly went to art school, so I imagine it would be something with art. 


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