Creating better cities: where passion fuels purpose

How Associate Director of Infrastructure Advisory, Maria Wozny, shaped her own purpose and passion while creating better Australian cities with us.​​​​​​​

As an Associate Director in Infrastructure Advisory, the purpose driving Maria Wozny is to create thriving Cities. It also happens to be her, and our, passion as well. 

“There’s so much innovation, digitalisation and transformation happening all across the Infrastructure industry, it’s difficult to pick just one exciting area of work!”

Her team works on everything from enhancing the quality of public transport services, through fighting airport and road congestion, to ensuring rain-independent sources of water, and participating in the delivery of environmentally-friendly power generation and storage solutions. 

At the heart of what they collectively do, and of every great city, are people. This is because a city can only thrive when all its people feel included, connected, and fulfilled. Specifically, something Maria is particularly excited by is Adelaide’s attempt to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city.

“Just imagine an Australian city powered solely by renewable energy with the transport system emitting only water vapour!”

“I’ve had the privilege of being involved in a number of engagements with the South Australian Government over the last few months, including the flagship contract with Tesla to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system.”

To connect this purpose and passion, Maria has spent time exploring the various opportunities made available to her through our community – from one-off projects to secondments.

“Across my career I’ve worked with many different teams, did short-term rotations and long-term secondments. I can definitely see how this helped me figure out what I want to do and how step-by-step it led me closer to this place where I enjoy my work on a daily basis.”

During her career exploration, she gained a valuable insight: the idea of ‘fitting in’ is something entirely separate to finding a sense of ‘belonging’, and it’s only the latter that holds any real value.

“Fitting in is very different to belonging. If you find a particular field of work or type of project fascinating, this where you belong. If you find true meaning and are fascinated by what you do, you belong.” 

“The corporate world is becoming more diverse, but there will be occasions when you don’t fit in. It’s important to make your career choices based on belonging and not fitting in. This is how we create genuine diversity.”

Despite having worked a successful seven years with us, Maria says the “interesting” part of her career is actually how she ended up with our firm in the first place. Like many young candidates, she was daunted by recruitment processes. Instead, she opted to take one of our alternate paths.

“I was quite intimidated by the standard interview process, and I felt it was not the best way for me to present my skills. I decided to try my luck by participating in a ‘Business Case’ contest organised by PwC Poland, which tested financial analysis, modelling, powerpoint, teamwork, and presentation skills through several stages and with more facetime than a regular recruitment process… I was among the lucky few who were offered a six month internship, which marked the beginning of my career with PwC.”

With this in mind, the advice Maria offers those wanting to create their own passion-fuelled career path is to throw planning to the wind, and follow your instincts.

“Planning can be limiting. Take risks. Follow your intuition. If it excites you, it’s worth testing out.” 

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