The self-taught Cricketer: One engineer hit Australian culture for six.

Project Administrator Outsourcing

The self-taught Cricketer

The right outsourcing helps engineering and construction projects scale on-demand, lift performance, and bridge critical gaps—but only with the right people offshore. Meet Cybalink Solutions Project Administrator Karl Songcuan—for him, ‘offshore’ has a bigger meaning.  “I spent my early career working for an oil company on an artificial island off Abu Dhabi—outside shifts I had a lot of time on my hands”, Karl recalls. “And used it to teach myself cricket”. That was before the pandemic brought him home to the Philippines—and to his current role as Project Administrator at Cybalink Solutions—handling procurement for a leading Australian construction company.

Three years on Elephant Island.

After graduating, Karl spent a year working as a Technical Assistant for a major land developer in the Philippines—but left to pursue opportunities in the Middle East. Following a short part-time stint in a government job, he landed his first full-time contract with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.  A multibillion-dollar EPC project took Karl offshore to live and work on a man-made archipelago 40km out into the Persian Gulf. He was assigned to the smallest island—named ‘Elephant’ for its distinctive shape. Karl had to wear many hats—the small team meant everyone had to pitch in when needed. On top of his duties as Project Secretary for the Island Manager, he worked across roles to provide cover when colleagues rotated off the island. With little to do after work but stare at the horizon, Karl organised an inter-island cricket league to keep morale up among the contractors—even though he’d never encountered the sport before. “I hadn’t played cricket back home—so I had to Google the rules. It was quite a steep learning curve!”

It was a great opportunity to work with professionals from a range of cultures and backgrounds. I learned flexibility, time management—and of course patience.

Adjusting to life onshore.

After 3 years on the island, Karl transferred onshore, working as Senior Administrative Officer on another multibillion-dollar EPC&S project—this time in Basra, Iraq.  Based at the company’s Dubai headquarters, he found the change of pace challenging at first. “Working directly with senior management was a big adjustment after so much time offshore. It’s a different kind of pressure—more about documents and deadlines”, Karl explains.  The close-knit team of contractors helped him to settle in and build relationships with the directors—and his industry experience meant he got up to speed quickly.

Coming home to Cybalink.

12 months into Karl’s time in Dubai the pandemic hit—and his team was demobilised as the company sought to cut costs. Karl headed back to the Philippines to reset. “COVID meant operations shrank overnight and I was home earlier than planned. But after 7 years away I was glad to see my family again”, he says.  At first, Karl was concerned he wouldn’t find the type of work he’d been used to—with fewer major projects based in his home country. But at Cybalink Solutions, he found the world-class engineering environment he was looking for.  Karl now works in procurement and cost control as a Project Administrator for one of Western Australia’s largest construction companies—and enjoys the business culture.  “Australians are very straightforward, very helpful, very detail-oriented”, he comments. “And I’m glad I took the time to learn cricket—it has definitely come in handy!”

Global talent—on demand.

Karl’s willingness to go above and beyond to adapt to new roles and cultures—whether developing relationships or learning a new sport—is characteristic of the global talent pool we offer. Going offshore is a big choice—at Cybalink Solutions, we like to make that choice easy.  We like to duplicate and extend your workplace culture—and we like being so effective that your own customers assume we’re local. 

There’s no-one remotely like us.

Get in touch today to book a confidential call with our co-founders Kim Lombardi and John Rodgers.

Cybalink Solutions E-Book Link

If you are considering outsourcing and find talent like Karl, start your outsourcing journey today with this e-book.

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