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A Day in The Life: Beca's Andrea Rickard

Andrea Rickard is the general manager of transport and infrastructure at Beca. She shares how she gets through the day, how she organises her time and how she handles the madness of business.

What time do you wake up?

About 6am.

What’s the ideal way to start your day? 

Coffee and an informal catch up with my fantastic team (on weekends I love a slow start in the sun in the back garden, and a city walk).

Do you have any morning rituals?

Coffee... and sometimes a walk. I always scan the news headlines.

How soon do you begin doing work-related things, i.e. checking phone or emails?

Whilst I try not to get too obsessed with emails, I definitely will check my phone before I go to work.

What’s your media consumption or interaction like from the morning onwards – do you listen to podcasts, radio, watch videos, read books and magazines, visit new sites?

I read a wide range of books and magazines and I’m a bit of a world news junkie, particularly international politics – I read the “proper news” as well as some of the pop-culture “news”. I love biographies of interesting women from history – I am currently reading one about Princess Margaret. When I’m on holiday I read easygoing books and some pretty low brow novels most of which I wouldn’t want to admit to!

What kind of work do you do?

I’m a general manager for a diverse, creative and engaging team of infrastructure professionals.

What’s unique about your line of work?

We change the people and community’s lives, we are future-focused and we love solving wicked problems.

What responsibility does that involve in a typical day? What takes up most of your time?

There is no typical day! I do a lot of listening...

Who do you see/talk to?

Everyone who crosses my path – in the office, out with our clients, partners and communities.

Where do your best ideas come from?

I’m constantly surprised at the amazing things we’re doing, and ideas come from our newest graduates through to people who have been in the business for 50 years (that is not a typo…50 years!)

What are the most important tools or programmes you use for your work? 

My ears and my voice. I listen a lot, I learn from others constantly.

How do you juggle all your responsibilities?

Just get on with it, prioritise and chunk things down so they are manageable. I have an amazing team around me including a super-woman PA who looks after me and books in “thinking time”.

What kind of breaks do you take throughout the day?

If I don’t eat, that isn’t good! So I prioritise eating healthy food – and ideally with others. Food is a very social thing to me.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

Being with a smart, innovative and engaging group of people from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and life experience.

What about the least enjoyable?

When everything is top priority.

Do you procrastinate? Is it good or bad?

From time to time – I think it’s a good thing... often bright ideas come to me when I allow myself unstructured thinking time.

Do you measure your accomplishments or productivity?If so, how? Feedback – I really value people letting me know if I’m doing well, or if I could improve.

Is there anything you think is unique about your day?

No – they are all different.

What’s your interaction with friends and family throughout the day?Can you be both a successful entrepreneur and a good mother/partner/friend?

My friends and family are a very high priority for me.  If someone is trying to get in touch, I want to know what’s up. There are also a number of my work colleagues who I consider are my friends.

Do you get stressed? If so, how do you manage it? Do you practice any mindfulness or meditation?

I love cooking, the kitchen is my happy place. If I’m stressed, there is nothing like putting on some music and cooking up a storm.  I’ll also go for a walk around the city streets looking at public art, architecture, trees and saying 'hi' to other people.

What do you do once you get home? Can you switch off?

Other than cooking and walking, there are a few tv series I get totally obsessed with. I can’t wait for the next series of The Crown.

What time do you go to sleep?

About 11pm.

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