The career pathway often has an interesting way of coming full-circle. While goals are usually achieved as a result of the support once received, it's fitting when this support can then be returned to others.
For Holmesglen graduate Dan Cramer, the ability to develop his skills while also passing on his experience to the latest alumni is both a hallmark of his current occupation and a personal joy.
Having started his professional building design and development consulting company – Cramer Design – almost 16 years ago, Dan has since created a local business that works prominently within the residential and commercial fields. The foundations for this success, though, were first formed in the classroom, when he studied interior design and decoration and then building design courses at Holmesglen.
"One of the most interesting comments one of my lecturers said was, 'Design is about making a decision, backing yourself and running with it because you can keep designing forever.' I use this in my practice today when I need to make an important decision that will affect my business or a client's outcome on a project," Dan says.
Fittingly, this self-belief has become reflected in industry honours throughout the years. Cramer Design was previously acknowledged at the 2014 Master Builders Excellence in Housing Awards when presented as the winner in the 'Best Custom Built Home ($500,000-$600,000)' category. Similarly, the company was recognised at the 2013 Housing Industry Association Awards (as, Winner - Townhouse/ Villa Development (Design Input).
"It's about doing your very best and believing in yourself, and following your instincts," Dan affirms. "I never had any ambition to work for myself. Personal circumstances moved me into this direction and with the support of my businesses partner and designer, Donna Reid; we have provided hundreds of projects over the past 16 years."
With plans to include full animation and 3D reality into the organisation's future projects, and also expand to accommodate a construction company, Cramer Design has also helped fellow Holmesglen graduates with their building design aspirations.
"I have had opportunities open up to me and I wanted to return that back to the industry. One of the ways was to support [the place] that supported me when I needed that extra assistance and guidance. We are able to give a little bit back by investing our time into [Holmesglen] graduates and helping fast track their development to achieve a long-time career in the building industry."
With hard work, as always, the constant, Dan is pragmatic and encouraging when helping young workers with their professional development. He cites passion and resourcefulness as important qualities.
"You need to love what you do and be an all-rounder. You may not always know the answer but you need to know how to find it. Lastly, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and surround yourself with positive, skilled individuals who, together, become your team."