21st April 2022 Employee Stories



Senior Project Manager, Josh Swigart, reflects on his time with Ahrens in the lead up to his fifteenth-year milestone with the company.

Beginning his career with Ahrens as a part of the Graduate Program in 2007, while completing his Construction Management and Economics degree at the University of South Australia, Josh did not realise the incredible opportunities and experiences that were in store through his career with Ahrens.

Keen to progress his career development while at university, Josh applied for and sat an interview with another builder that had a similar offer to Ahrens. Having never heard of Ahrens before the initial email was sent out to the university students, and after researching the company, something within Josh drew him to pursue the opportunity. Josh withdrew his other application with the second builder, and to this day, Josh will never forget when they told him, “When you get bored at Ahrens, and you will, give me a call”.

His first few years with Ahrens were invaluable to his career progression, as Josh had the opportunity to immerse himself in all aspects of project delivery.  This in turn, helped him gain an understanding of what it took to deliver an Ahrens project from concept to completion.

Josh soared from strength to strength to become a Project Manager in 2009, where he was trusted to initially run smaller projects, and over time, this progressed into large scale projects that were worth millions of dollars.

After years of successfully delivering projects for Ahrens, Josh was promoted to Senior Project Manager in 2018 and had the opportunity to lead the largest project Ahrens has had to-date; the Metcash Distribution Centre in Gepps Cross SA. Understanding what it meant to be offered this promotion, Josh recounts how grateful he still is for the belief Ahrens had in him. “To even be considered, let alone to be the one chosen to lead this large-scale project, was an honour that I did not take for granted”.

One of Josh’s career highlights is the comradery he has developed with his fellow Design and Construct SA team, and he believes this is a huge contributing factor to the success of the division. He has cherished forming lifelong relationships with his teammates, and watching their careers and families grow at the same time.

This strong sense of community Ahrens creates was prevalent early on, before Josh even started his Graduate Program. Before commencing in 2007, Josh and his now wife, Kim, were invited to the Ahrens Christmas Party in the Barossa Valley. Although they didn’t know anyone, they were immediately welcomed as part of the team, and this drew Josh towards the allure of Ahrens.

Josh is humbled that he has earned the respect from his peers, and for the opportunity he has to share his experiences when they come to him.  This is an aspect of his current role that he enjoys most; being leaned upon for advice from fellow employees. It is definitely known throughout all divisions that Josh is the person that is always willing to lend a hand and offer support; whether its advice for a project, a friendly chat in the lunch room or for general life experience – Josh is the go-to guy.

Looking back on his almost fifteen years with Ahrens, Josh has a message for the other building company: “I am far from bored!”

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