We thought it was time to share another staff bio, so this week we caught up with our most recent apprentice, Isaac van der Valk. Isaac started with us full-time early in 2013 and has proved himself to be a hard worker and a quick learner. The youngest of 4 tough brothers and an even tougher older sister, Isaac grew up on a sheep and beef farm near Cambridge. He loves anything outdoors, especially rugby where he played No.8 for Cambridge High School's championship winning team of 2012, and has represented Waikato at a number of age group levels.
So Isaac, what made you decide to want to become a builder? Is it something you always wanted to do?
I had a dream of been a builder when I was really little and told Mum that when I grow up that I will build them a house! As I got older going through school I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career.
Why did you choose to join Rob May?
Our family knows Jono and Paula and Paula's family from way back, and two of my brothers did some work experience for Jono a few years back too. I was keen to do some work experience during the holidays, and Jono gave me a call and asked if I wanted to give it a try. I realised I was alright at it and enjoyed working with the guys and figured it was a pretty good trade to have under my belt.
Isaac on a rampaging run for Hautapu Senior A's
What was your first experience of working at Rob May?
My very first job was building a new classroom at Cambridge East primary school. I remember standing frames and trusses with Deryk (Print). It always seemed like Deryk was doing heaps more work than me but it was good fun to learn off him.
What do you remember about starting out? Most people start out with no idea what they're doing, how did you get through that?
I just remembered to try pay close attention to the other builders and I picked it up pretty fast.
You did pick it up quick Isaac, probably because you do think about what you are doing. Jono mentioned once early on that you were working on some framing, and Jono had gone to get materials, and you struck a dilemma of whether or not the part of wall you were building needed treated timber or not. You thought about it and decided you should use treated just in case. It turned out you didn't need to, but Jono was impressed you took the time to stop and think about it, and make a safe call.
Isaac with oldest brother Josh (left), and Luke (centre).
Do you enjoy the range of work Rob May Building does? What kind of stuff do you enjoy? Or not enjoy as much?
Yeah I really enjoy the work with the variety of stuff we do, such as doing something little like decks to doing huge jobs like the retirement village (Bupa St Kilda). I enjoy doing finishing work and where I have to think or solve problems.
Is building something you want to carry on doing? Is there something else you see yourself after building?
I'm not to sure what I will do in the future, just going with the flow. It'd be cool to one day own a lifestyle block and work as a handyman perhaps, or maybe go out building on my own and work my way up. Who knows?!
What kind of builder do you want to be known as? And what kind of person do you want to be known as?
I want to be known as a builder that has high standards and is a hard worker and fun to be with, I want to be known as a respected and trusted genuine guy, haha.
Big ticks there mate, you certainly work hard and work well, and all of the rest of the crew enjoy having you around.
Tell us one surprising fact about yourself that people wouldn't know or expect.
People wouldn't expect that I don't drink.