top of page


Calibre - Website Banners (1).png

Calibre Careers - Q&A with Nicole Vukic

Calibre's Director, Ben Wood, sat down with Nicole to get her insights on her career and what has helped her progress. 


I've known Nicole for over ten years and worked with her throughout this time as a candidate and client. We catch up regularly and often end up talking about the industry, our own roles and any situations we are dealing with. She was one of the first people I thought of when looking to start this interview series. Nicole is someone who is really open, honest and genuinely cares about the people she works with. She is also super easy to talk to so I knew we would get plenty of valuable content. 

About Nicole

Nicole Vukic is a Transport Planner and Engineer with over 21 years of experience in specialist and multi-disciplinary consultancies. Nicole is currently the Business Leader – Transport Planning and Advisory for Arcadis and is responsible for building the organisation’s transport planning capability within Australia, which has seen the business transform and grow under her leadership. She is passionate about working on city-shaping projects, contributing to the creation of great places and influencing how people move between these places efficiently and sustainably. 

What would you recommend others do that has really helped your career?

"Firstly, I think being clear on what you want is always good, and communicating that to prospective and current employers. If nobody knows what you want out of your career, they can't support you to achieve it."

Having a mentor and people you can turn to for advice

It is important to have a great mentor. A great mentor will question you about what you want to get out of your career and question why you make certain decisions, which is a great way to progress your career. My mentor helped me get a clear picture of what I wanted out of my career and what I needed to do to achieve this. A good mentor is direct and will make you squirm with discomfort, but they will help find your strengths and weaknesses and deal with difficult situations. It's good to have informal mentors, such as a manager, someone in your team, a colleague, or someone in the industry. You should be able to go to them for support, advice or questions about your challenges. 

Continue to build a profile

Always find ways to expand your network. As a graduate, I attended a lot of networking events and I kept in contact with former colleagues and university peers. Don't underestimate your network, even as an undergraduate. As you move up in the industry, your university peers will move up too. When you become a decision-maker, they will also become decision-makers. 

Be honest and authentic

Make sure you are always your genuine self. For people looking to take leadership roles, start with what type of leadership approach comes most naturally to you but also think about the type of manager you aspire to be. You are always learning and part of this taking the best bits from all your managers and people you respect and making them your own. 

How have you found being a female in a male dominant industry?

Fortunately, I did not experience sexism to the same extent as other women in this industry. What I did find though, perhaps because I was responsible for managing teams early in my career, was that people took greater issue with my age. I often got feedback that I didn't have enough ‘grey hairs’ to be managing a team or a certain technical component of a project. 


I believe we've got a lot more to do to support females in the industry and in leadership positions. Women have a different way of operating, putting themselves forward for roles, advocating for themselves, and having others advocate for them. There are lots of opportunities to get past the blockers women face in the industry.

What is the biggest challenge you face in this industry as a leader?

The biggest challenge is attracting and keeping talent, which is quite common in the industry. We always strive to attract the right people who have a combination of technical skills, drive, and who are a cultural fit. Finding and getting to know if someone is right takes extra effort but is vital. I enjoy managing diverse teams because different people have different needs, which constantly challenges my leadership and management skills but is ultimately very rewarding.

What three tips would you give someone who is looking to secure their next role?

Do your research

Always research the company/role you are applying for. A company's website and LinkedIn page will provide useful information about its current work and culture. You should look over their projects and link them to your experience and any similar projects you may have worked on. If possible, talk to people who have worked at the company. If you get an interview then do more research. Read the position description again. Take note of what you want to get out of a company in the first couple of months and have a clear idea of what success looks like in the role, and how you would measure yourself against the position description.

Spend time preparing your CV for the role

Firstly, make sure your CV is well-written and easy to read. How someone writes their CV gives a good indication of how they will write reports and communicate with clients. It also shows you take pride in your work. Secondly, tailor your CV to the role that you're applying for. Tailoring your CV is critical in demonstrating you’re suitable for the role. Provide details about your role on the projects you have worked on, be specific and share your achievements in those roles and how they are relevant to the role you are applying for. Lastly, write a cover letter even if it doesn’t explicitly ask for one. A cover letter gives you the opportunity to tell the interviewer what you want, what excites you about the role and what you want to get out of the application. 

Make sure you show you are engaged and interested in interviews

When it comes to the actual interview, don't be afraid to ask the interviewer questions. I think that interviews are about candidates interviewing us just as much as we're interviewing them. This gives the interviewer a great sense of whether somebody is going to be forthcoming in asking questions to overcome hurdles in the workplace. It's also important, to be honest about what you want to get out of the role and what you want for your career path. Even if you are unsure, it's good to be honest, so your prospective manager can assist or guide you once you are working with them.

What does your team do at Arcadis?

We are a national team, with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. My team covers five streams within transport planning and advisory. We've got the transport modellng, mobility advisory (this covers economics and business cases), transport planning, rail planning, and operations and new mobility (which looks at how we're going to be travelling in the future).

Why should people join Arcadis?

I know all companies say that they're people first and have a great culture, but I can honestly say having worked at lots of different companies, Arcadis is genuinely people first. It’s a combination of the level of support you receive from Arcadis, the management team, and a culture that fosters genuine collaboration. People actually like the people they work with and there is a lot of longevity in the well established teams.

There's a big focus on diversity, not just gender diversity, but neurodiversity, LGBTQIA+, age, ethnicity and heritage. Arcadis has global affinity groups across all these groups, which anyone can be involved in. The company is really committed to diversity and inclusion. Our people look out for each other.

Subscribe to get future articles

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page