Trevor Hay – Celebrating half a century at Beca

This week marks 50 years since Trevor Hay, Associate Civil Engineer, joined Beca. In January 1965, Trevor had just finished high school and was looking for a job in engineering. From a young age, he enjoyed designing and building things. A phone call followed by an interview with George Beca got him a job at Beca's first office in Auckland. Trevor became part of an enterprising team who were responsible for fuelling Beca's growth and building a strong and innovative engineering consultancy for the future.

To celebrate this momentous milestone, we interviewed Trevor about his time at Beca:

How has Beca changed over the last 50 years?
When I started, Beca was a lot smaller with only 10-15 employees. We've changed in size, but kept the same values. Beca's still a friendly place; everyone's willing to help each other and is committed to doing the best possible job for the client. There's so much knowledge and we're all prepared to share that knowledge which is a big strength of the company.

What memorable projects have you been involved with?
More recently it's been the completion of Auckland's Central Motorway Junction which was my first large project. Also Victoria Park Tunnel and the Northern Busway which is a great facility. In early days, I enjoyed being involved in opening up parts of Auckland like the Ti Rakau bridge and building the Manukau City Centre.

What advice would you give to graduates?
Ask questions and try and learn as much as you can, because you never know where your career will take you. What's great about Beca is that there are so many different jobs, you never get bored. If you want a challenge or a different direction, there are no limits to where you can go. In the last five years I've been mentoring graduates and students on various projects and it's very rewarding. It's great to be able to pass on my knowledge so they don't make the same mistakes I made!

Has the social scene changed much?
Throughout Beca's history we've always had a social side; a social club for staff, as well as opportunities to play sport with clients. For years I organised all the social activities, and it was great doing things that brought people together outside of work.

Why 50 years?
I find the work interesting and I'm still learning new things. If your health is good and you enjoy what you're doing, then there's no point in stopping. I've always tried to balance work with other things in life, like taking an afternoon off if a sporting event comes along. Also staying fit and healthy – if you're fit physically you're fit mentally. Our facilities really encourage that, we've got bike racks if you want to bike to work, and showers and changing rooms. In our lunch break, we used to go and play indoor basketball and badminton, or go for a swim, and that gave you a decent break from work.

What's next for you? What are you looking forward to in the future?
There are a lot of colleagues who are retiring and that's quite attractive, especially after having a holiday! I've got a few large projects that I'd like to finish off – I don't like starting projects and not finishing them. You get a lot of satisfaction seeing projects through to completion. It's something you can be proud of, being able to show people things that you've done, and say you were part of that from the start.

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