Alumni profile - Glenn McVilly

Name: Glenn McVilly
Studied: Carpentry and Joinery
Year: 1988 - 1990
Now: Director, Spence Construction

Why did you choose to study Carpentry & Joinery?

At my Year 11 award night, I heard about an apprenticeship with a local tradesman. I went home and had a think about where I was heading with my career choice of accounting and I decided to go for the apprenticeship - I was lucky enough to get it!

What did you enjoy most about your time at
The Gordon?

Continuing my education - going to trade school put me back into a familiar learning environment, and that was a good thing. At The Gordon, my peers and teachers all had the same common goal. I really enjoyed the theory side of trade school, and liked the camaraderie between my fellow apprentices.

What led you to start your own business?

In 1999 I was given an opportunity to come and work for Spence Construction to get a new component of the business up and running. I was happy where I was working at the time but the push to change actually came from my then employer, as he saw it as a great opportunity for me. After 12 months, I was offered a partnership by one of the Directors. This was a big decision, but also very exciting. I’m so happy I took that step, and will always be grateful for that opportunity.

What does an average day look like for you?

My day normally starts with a bit of exercise to clear the head. Then I’m on the road or into the office by 6.30am. I’m usually based in our Geelong or Colac office, or visiting one of the sites that I’m managing - at the moment we have eight, in Colac, Geelong, Bellarine and Mornington Peninsula. I also spend time in Melbourne meeting clients or catching up with architects. Lunch fits in somewhere, and the day normally ends at 6.30pm.

How did The Gordon prepare you for the career you have today?

Learning that the trade and industry is more than the hands-on side was definitely important. The theory gave me with the discipline for study and a deeper appreciation of what I would actually be constructing. Learning in the right way, and being trained with the correct skills is invaluable and something you don’t realise you are gaining along the way - until you look back.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Seeing the development of our team - we now employ around 70 people in Colac, Geelong and the Bellarine. Watching people start off as apprentices or students, applying their skills in real project situations, is something that I get a lot of satisfaction from.

If you could pass on one piece of wisdom to those currently making study and career decisions, what would it be?

Pick something that you enjoy or are passionate about. Not every day is going to be great, but if you have a passion for what you are doing it will help get you through. Having an admiration for something, even if you don’t fully understand it, is sometimes the best challenge you can have. There is always plenty to learn.

Image courtesy of Spence Construction

Posted: 15/02/2018 8:55:47 AM



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About The Gordon

The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been helping people gain real skills for real jobs for over 125 years. We pride ourselves on delivering a great range of TAFE courses from short courses to nationally accredited training across apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which can lead you to a great career or create pathways to university.

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