Graduate, Assistant Project Manager
Consultancy, North America
Since joining Mace's graduate programme in the spring of 2015, Ebony has jumped at the chance to work with some of our top clients on both sides of the Atlantic. Having worked with some of the biggest banks in London, and now some of New York's biggest retailers, Ebony is developing the skills she needs to be one of our brightest new project managers.
- Why did you choose to join the graduate programme at Mace?
- I graduated from university in New York with an architecture and real estate degree. I spent some time doing summer internships in architecture and project management firms before I came across the Mace Graduate Development Programme. What made me hit that apply button was the opportunity to broaden my experience, to keep learning on the job, to get exposure to the industry and to gain international experience.
- What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
The opportunities to learn more every day. There is so much going on at Mace and so many opportunities to do something new or different, there's always another string to add to your bow. Working in North America has been a great opportunity to help shape Mace's reputation there - it's a relatively new business and to spread Mace's brand and be part of the team showcasing Mace's strength on an international level has been very rewarding.
I also really enjoy being able to work with such a wide variety of clients and projects as all of them have different requirements and allow me to use different skills. For example, I'm currently working on the fit out of the new GAP/Old Navy store on Times Square - to work with such well known retail brands in such an iconic location, and the challenges and specific planning rules that we have to contend with working at the location - is really exciting. Other clients I've worked with that have helped me to shape my project management skills include Barclays, Verint and Wallgreens; from developing location strategies to managing the fit out of new call centers, the projects have been really interesting and rewarding.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
It would have to be the time I spent working in London. My Mace team members in London supported me and gave me a lot of opportunities to take on more responsibility. I've been able to progress my skills and become confident in my role. I think I was able to establish myself personally and professionally in London which was a great achievement for me in my first international role.
I'm also really looking forward to next year's completion of the GAP/Old Navy store in Times Square - I have to pinch myself that I'm helping to create a new flagship store in such an amazing location!
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
To be a good project manager you need to be a people person, first and foremost. Communication is the biggest part of the job - communicating with your clients, your team and with other stakeholders. You have to be able to adapt quickly and be flexible, and you have to listen to your client's needs and be willing to go the extra mile.
I've also recently achieved the OSHA 10 certification (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), which is a programme intended to ensure awareness and understanding of the hazards on construction sites and ensures that you know what the standards and regulations are. Health and safety is so important on sites and is one of Mace's core commitments, so this kind of training is invaluable for me to maintain high standards on site.
- What advice would you give to someone considering applying for the Mace Graduate Development Programme?
- Be confident in your decision to apply. If you're international and don't know what to expect from London, just know that it is worth it - Mace will put you leaps and bounds above the graduates at other companies. I'd also say: be honest, don't just write the answers you think Mace wants to hear. Mace wants to hear from you.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
- I'm passionate about photography and travel. I run my own photography blog in my spare time, with a focus on the built environment and how it shapes our daily routines and lives. And I've been fortunate enough to travel as part of my job, so it's the best of both worlds.
“There is so much going on at Mace and so many opportunities to do something new or different, there’s always another string to add to your bow.”