Chippy chick

    Stef Apostolidis

    Melbourne Chippy Chick

    Stef Apostolidis, aka @melbournechippychick, shares active on-site shots full of sunshine to her 148k instagram followers. And it’s clear she loves her job as a site manager and carpenter, but it tooks a few twists and turns to discover the career she wanted. And despite initially struggling with the in-depth maths subjects she chose at school, she still uses maths everyday.

    Stef is not only a successful site manager with a huge social following but also the founder of the Tradie Lady Club, supporting and networking women in the trades (#tradieladyclub, @tlcbymcc, melbournechippychick.com.au).

    I wanted to do engineering at high school, so I took up the more difficult maths units. I struggled with it, and I tried to take up tutoring but lost track of that also.

    “I found maths very important for what I am doing now, but it’s not the type of maths that you need to memorise, like every times table. It’s more important to memorise the methods of how to work out volumes, areas and materials,” she says.

    Day-to-day maths skills that are relevant for her work include ordering materials, time management, paying bills, estimating and quoting jobs.

    “Reading plans is critical in my job. Understanding numbers and symbols and converting that into a house takes a lot of hard work and understanding.”

    Her advice to high school students thinking of study and career choices is to focus on the subjects you enjoy, “because that’s what you will end up being good at. If not, you will find it. Don’t stress. Think about what you enjoy most, and try to envision that in a job.

    “Everyone is different and you need to think about what you enjoy and then get a job that suits your needs and likes.”

    Stef’s typical day

    Get a coffee, get to site. Have a morning run through of what the day will involve. Make a list of everything that needs to be completed that day. Get the tools out, music on and start building or planning. 

    “I can eat my lunch outside on a pile of dirt. 

    I can work in sweat and dirt all day. 

    I can get cuts and scratches,

    I can lift very heavy things, 

    I love that, but that’s me.”

    Stef’s career path

    >> Yr 12 certificate 

    >> Cert III in Carpentry, Melbourne Polytechnic

    >> Diploma of Building and Construction, Swinburne University 

    Follow Stef on Instagram @melbournechippychick

    Heather Catchpole

    Author: Heather Catchpole

    Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs

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