On a daily basis I would call different companies to see if any of them were recruiting for any positions. If they did, I had to convinced them to let me find suitable candidates for the roles they were looking to fill. Once I had their permission I had to act quickly and find the right people for the role by either looking through the database of candidates already registered with the agency or placing an advert for new candidates. This role required of me to be organised and personable as well as a persuasive “sales person”.
Assistant Project Manager at Mott MacDonald
When I started this role I had no relevant qualifications or experience, I didn’t even know what Project Manager did, so it required from me to think on my feet, learn on the job and study a lot to gain the required qualifications and knowledge. This included completing a Masters Degree in Construction Project Management. The projects I have worked on were schools in Bath, Bristol, Ashburton, Plymouth, Dorchester, Portsmouth and Isle of Weight so I also got to travel a lot which I really enjoyed. Eventually I was promoted to a Project Manager.
Project Manager a Faithful and Gould
I moved to F+G to so that I can vary my experience as at Mott MacDonald I was only able to project manage school projects. Here I worked mainly on pub renovations. Overall, the move turned out to be not what I hoped for, I didn’t feel that it would support my career development and following a wave of redundancies I have moved on to better and bigger things. I should add that I don’t regret it, things won’t always work out as planned but as long as you move forward you will be fine.
Project Manager at Currie and Brown
At C&B I finally got to work on a big mixed-use development with its value circa £50 million. It was meant to be a big extension of an existing shopping centre with shops, restaurants, cinema and a big outdoor amphitheatre. It was an exciting project with a big team of very talented architects and engineers. We all worked very hard to delivery this project. Unfortunately, investment for the project was pulled out after Brexit vote brought great uncertainty to the market. I then got to work on other mix-use schemes comprising retail and student accommodation.
Senior Project Manager
In my current role I work on a very exciting development within Bristol city centre. It is a new University campus with value circa £300 million, the biggest project I have worked on to date. On a project of this scale with a team of project managers, each responsible for their own work stream. In very general terms my day to day duties include liaison with the whole design team and the client; coordination of everyone’s responsibilities and ensuring that the project is progressing on time and to the pre-agreed budget.
My current job is definitely my favourite. It gives me an opportunity to work on a very exciting project which will transform Bristol’s city centre. I work with a very supportive team and for an employer who values its employees, allowing us all to maintain an even work – life balance, something I have learned over the years to be very important for my general wellbeing.
Apart from interest which are linked to my job, like learning about innovations in design and construction, I love traveling. In the last two years I have visited Thailand and New Zealand and both trips were incredible. But it's not only travelling abroad as I find weekend exploring of England also be very enjoyable.
I enjoy fashion and watch every fashion related show I can find. The same goes for interior design or renovation shows.
I am an animal lover and have two cats: Nibbles and Coco. I also experienced close encounters with baby foxes, racoons and recently meerkats.
When I was younger I used to sign, dance and was part of a drama club.
Hard work pays off! After I joined the Construction industry I have spent the first few years working full time and studying in the evenings and on the weekends to gain all of the required qualifications. It was hard, sometimes I just sat there staring at the course work crying because I was too tired to focus. But, I did the best that I could and persevered. I have been promoted twice and am currently working towards the next step in my career. It’s worth adding that sometimes, despite the hard work and efforts things don’t go to plan, and that’s not worth beating yourself up about because as long as you know where you want to get to you will find another way, I can vouch for that!
I always enjoyed history, literature and math (accountancy). Subject I struggled the most with was Chemistry, perhaps because I was thought mainly theory which I didn't find interesting.
For my job I need to be organized and have a good time management. Projects have a set timeline (project programme) and a Project Manager (PM) needs to ensure that everyone is doing what they should be doing within the given timescales. As PM manages the project team, which comprises of many other professionals (architects, engineers, specialist consultants, contractors), I need to be able to communicate clearly, manage conflicts, solve problems and be authoritative. Also required are at least basic financial and budgeting skills for preparing fee proposals and monitoring budgets.
I find that I learn better by doing something, so working and studying at the same time was perfect as I could straight away apply what I was being thought at the University to my day to day work. I didn’t always get things right the first time, but learning from mistakes can be very valuable and no one is perfect at their job right from the beginning. I was also lucky to have very knowledgeable mentors who helped me by guiding me and sharing their experiences as well as providing constructive feedback on my performance.
I was very lost when I was at school, I didn’t know what would be the right choice for me and I couldn’t find anywhere to fit in. The career advice I got was very vague, either do something creative or teach a foreign language. At the end I did my A levels and when I was 19 relocated to UK where I worked in a nursing home and then in retail, while studying and looking for better opportunities.
I wouldn't do anything differently. Although, I was a late starter in the industry (I was 27) my previous experience in recruitment helped me develop a lot of transferable skills. The same can be said about my first degree in Business Management Studies. You don’t always end up straight away where you need to be, but that’s ok, you will find your way there eventually if you carry on working towards your goals.