Working at Woods: A great opportunity to learn and develop your career

Samantha Muirhead

Samantha Muirhead graduated from Otago University in 2013 and immediately joined Woods as a graduate surveyor. Sam is now a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor, recently seconded to the LEAD Alliance. Read her employee story here.

After graduating from Otago University in 2013, Samantha Muirhead joined Woods as a Graduate Surveyor. Sam is now a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor and has recently come back from a secondment at the LEAD Alliance where she helped the community by enabling new homes to be built. It was a great experience with many opportunities to develop and learn, she says. We sat down with Sam to find out more.

What do you wish you had known about the company beforehand?

Starting your career in a professional workplace fresh out of university can be daunting. While I had worked in Woods’ Christchurch-based office during the university holiday, I wish I’d known how friendly and helpful everyone would be once I started full-time in Auckland. It is a great team environment at Woods. There is always someone to ask questions if you get stuck on anything, and everyone is keen to support you and help you learn.

How have you developed your skills through your time at Woods?                                                                             

Coming straight out of university, I was able to work on a range of different jobs and gain experience in different areas of surveying at Woods; it was invaluable. The in-house Graduate Development Programme really helped me develop my skills and carry out all the compulsory aspects of Licensing. It also helped that the management team in the Surveying department and my mentor, Richard Lawton, had a lot of experience and were so easy to learn from.

There are many opportunities to work on and get involved with different projects. I’ve had the opportunity to travel outside of Auckland for projects and I spent time in the engineering department as a graduate. Being seconded to the team at LEAD Alliance was also a great experience to develop and learn the ways of alliancing.

What do you like most about your job?

The variety of people I get to interact with. Working on different projects, I get to meet a range of people which makes it enjoyable. Also, working at LEAD Alliance for the last three years, it was satisfying to see the positive impact on the community and knowing that I’m helping the community and enabling new homes to be built. Especially when there's such a shortage at the moment.

What makes you happiest at work?

I love seeing the projects develop. At the start of a new greenfield project, it’s usually a bare piece of land. Seeing it develop right through until the houses are built and people are living in those houses is very satisfying. Woods is also just a great place to work with a good team environment. We have lots of fun, but everyone still works hard.

What keeps you productive?

Being part of the team. As I said, it's such a good team and everyone works hard. For me, it is about having pride in the projects that I’m working on and working with my teammates to complete those projects. Woods has a good reputation and I’m driven to work hard and be productive to keep that reputation going.

How would you describe your work life to a friend?

It's a relaxed place to work but everyone still works really hard to get projects completed and meet timeframes. We have many different social events which help with getting to know your workmates and colleagues a bit better, making it easier to work on different projects together. 

The directors and senior management team are friendly - they know everyone’s name and will stop to chat with you. They’re also very supportive; encouraging and enabling everyone to have a go at different projects or tasks. They want you to learn and gain experience.

Samantha Muirhead - Licensed Cadastral Surveyor

If you are interested in working at Woods, please visit our careers page for more information.