Martha Ospina

Principal Consultant, Australia

Fifteen years ago, ERM took a chance on a student who they did not know, giving me access to boundless opportunities.

Fifteen years ago, ERM took a chance on a student who they did not know, giving me access to boundless opportunities.

I began my career at ERM as a part-time consultant while studying for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sydney (Australia). After graduating, I returned to my home in Colombia and continued working for ERM as a Junior Consultant while applying for permanent residency in Australia. Returning to Colombia was difficult after living in Australia for six years, and being able to secure a job in our Bogotá office really helped.

With ERM’s backing, I moved back to Australia as a permanent resident in our Melbourne office. Although early in my career, I started to realize my natural skills and happiness aligned quite well with project management. I took on more project management responsibilities on small projects.

In 2013, I accepted a year-long secondment in a very remote and water-scarce area of central Queensland at a massive natural gas operation. There I served as the water compliance officer, setting up water monitoring programs for different sources across the project. It was a massive professional and personal challenge, and I loved every minute of it.

When the Queensland secondment ended, I worked as the project manager, fieldwork lead, and health and safety coordinator for the contaminated land phase of the privatization of the Port of Melbourne, the country’s largest port. Based on my performance, I earned a promotion to Consultant. One of my next assignments included living in a remote area of Sumatra (Indonesia) for a month, where I conducted qualitative risk assessments for an oil and gas company.

Over the past three years, I have served as the program manager on the closure of a major power complex in Victoria (Australia), overseeing 40 projects to make sure we are delivering our services on time and within budget while meeting the client’s strategic needs. It has been a great experience helping to nurture our relationship with this client, which has grown to be one of our global key clients.

Recently, ERM promoted me to Principal Consultant. Our company’s career framework enables people to explore different pathways to develop and be successful. ERM trusts and supports us as we drive our own professional journey.