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Tim O'Donnell (Australia) Print E-mail

au_mtc20011. What was your motivation in participating in the MTC competition?

The chance to meet other people from around the world in the same predicament as myself, have some fun, and to see just how good I was!

2. What was the biggest thing you learned from MTC?

The importance of understanding exactly what is required within the task, and tailoring the design/project to meet it in everyway through planning, building and testing thoroughly. By planning it carefully, you know what does and doesn't matter on the day and can deal with set backs efficiently and effectively.

3. Would you recommend the MTC and WorldSkills competitions to others? What would you tell them about it?

Definitely. It's a great chance to practise what you know, meet others from Australia as well as get to go OS and represent your country. Teamwork and the challenges of project management under pressure are useful skills to have under your belt, and this experience is a fantastic chance to have a go and realise the difficulties in planning a complete project.

4. What experiences have you had since the competition?

Since the comp in 2001, Steve and myself were both fortunate in that it gave us plenty of exposure at Bosch. We were given aptitude testing and paths were created for us to further our careers. Steve went into an Engineering Traineeship and I decided to undertake university study. I began an Electronic Engineering Degree in 2003 at Swinburne University, with the idea that with my fitting trade, Ass. Dip. of Mechanical Engineering and a Degree in Electronics would allow me to have a complete understanding of the whole engineering process, to be able to move onto a project management role ultimately. Unfortunately, I found electronics didn't do it for me, so after completing a year and a half of it successfully, I transferred into a Bachelor of Business and loved it. I am currently finishing my final subject, and will graduate in May. I have continued working at Bosch part time throughout my studies, which has been very helpful. I remained in Maintenance, in a planning role until the end of 2005, and then transferred into the Industrial Engineering department, which is where Steve also works. There we have been able to work together again which has been great, and we have achieved a lot of success developing and implementing lean manufacturing tools and systems for production personnel.

au_tim_odonnell5. What are you doing in your job at the moment?

As above, but will ultimately be looking to move to a finance/budgeting role within the company, but will have to wait and see how it pans out.

6. Do you have any advice for this year’s competitors?

Understand the project brief in it's entirety. Then plan, plan, plan. And then plan some more. And make sure your plan fits the specs perfectly. Our biggest advantage was that we took the trouble to know exactly what specs mattered and what didn't, allowing us to tailor our design to them.

7. Is there anything else you want to say about the competition?

It was a blast. Met some top people, and learnt a lot about managing people, projects, costs and time.

8. What did MTC really mean for you?

It opened the door to what other types of jobs/roles are out there career-wise. Getting to have a crack at a project where you are ultimately responsible for it is a big challenge, and one that will give you a massive buzz when you conquer it. Not to mention winning as well! Steve and I are good mates, and a lot did change for us after competing, we do discuss it every now and then, and it was a career and personal turning point for both of us.

9. How would you describe MTC in one or two words?

Gold.