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Want to work in the safety, quality, training and environment industry? Get the inside story from Becky

Want to work in the safety, quality, training and environment industry? Get the inside story from Becky

Becky Cox, Regional SQTE (Safety, Quality, Training and Environment) Administrator, Fulton Hogan Bay of Plenty

What did you want to be when you were 16?
I wanted to be a Radio Celebrity or a Pilot.

What did you end up doing when you left school?
I didn’t know what I wanted to study, so instead, I took up an unpaid job in Radio Broadcasting, co-hosting a night show to gain experience in the industry in the hopes it would turn into paid work.

Describe a day in your life at work:
A typical day for me involves liaising with all different levels of people within our Regional & National Business, monitoring and measuring to ensure we are meeting our legal obligations around health & safety and the environment and that our people are living safely and working together to protect the environment. My time is spent analyzing data, auditing, reviewing systems and processes, creating and coordinating training & development programmes and supporting the Regional Management Team to be successful and achieve their goals.

Why do you love your job/career?
I love it because I am exposed to all different parts of the business and get to work with a diverse range of people, having the opportunity to make a meaningful difference inside the Civil Construction Industry towards social/environmental/economic sustainability for our business, people and our communities.

How did you get into your career?
I have always been very passionate about social and environmental issues. I returned to the workforce in 2011 (after having kids) as a contractor to Maritime NZ to help with the Rena disaster, as part of the Oiled Wildlife Response Unit. I thrive when working in a role that aligns with my personal values around the environment and community wellbeing.

What qualifications did you study?
I have only in the last couple of years started to build my qualifications, as I like to call it – filling in the gaps. I am working towards a Bachelor of Applied Science – Environment Management (1/4 of the way through) via the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, and last year I completed a Level 4 - Occupational Health & Safety Certificate.

Do you have any advice for getting into your sector?
To work in the health & safety/environmental compliance sector, you need to have a passion for peoples wellbeing and the communities we live in. Being able to connect with a diverse range of personalities and cultures, show compassion and be courageous to stand up for what is right, even if it means having some challenging conversations. Think globally, but act locally – volunteer and build connections with your local community to gain experience and network with groups that share your values and interests.

What do you wish you had done differently?
I wish when I was at school I had a better understanding about what qualifications were available and how they transferred into the real world, I had no idea of the opportunities that I face today and I would have taken a different path straight out of school.

What would you say to your teenage self about defining your future?
You can change your mind at any given time about what career “path” you think you should be on. Align your career with your personal values and beliefs, but don’t forget; your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your actions do!