Tara McDougall RESIZE
Emerging Talent

Tara McDougall

Project Manager

Consultancy, Middle East

Tara joined Mace on the Graduate Development Programme in 2012. After working for Mace's public sector team, Tara’s appetite for an even bigger adventure took her to Dubai where she is currently a project manager for the development of Dubai Expo 2020.

How has your career at Mace developed?

When I first started at Mace it was a huge learning curve because my degree had been in pure project management. I didn’t know much about construction and I was working with challenging stakeholders, but the team really supported me and shared what they knew. It meant it was quick and easy to find my feet and I learnt more and more about the construction industry as I began managing projects of my own across the education and regeneration sectors.

My passion for seeing buildings develop and my determination to succeed meant that I learned a lot of new skills very quickly. Not long after I finished the Graduate Development Programme I realised I wanted a new adventure and made the move to Dubai.

Why did you choose to move to Mace in Dubai?
I never really saw myself working in Dubai before I joined Mace but the scale of projects, the budgets available and the environment that you build in is so different that I had to try it.
What's it like?

I have the opportunity to learn new things every day! I feel empowered - I'm the youngest person on the programme and yet I get to manage huge projects. Working in Dubai is such a contrast to the work I did in the UK where the projects were much shorter in timescale and smaller in scale and budget. I love the fact that I have experienced both.

Everyone is in the same boat out here. This is no one's home so everyone wants to make friends with each other – it makes for a great social life!

What are you working on right now?
Dubai Expo 2020 which is an absolutely huge programme of works for a major world event. Working as part of a joint venture in a completely different country is fast paced, exhausting but totally exhilarating and I love it. It's hard work but I have the opportunity to work on something obscenely prestigious with a deadline that cannot move.
What is your proudest achievement at Mace?
While I was on the Graduate Development Programme I was awarded grad of the year and won a trip to Dubai which is when I fell in love with the city! I was also shortlisted for Best Apprentice/New Starter under 25 for the Women in Construction Awards in 2014 which was an absolute highlight.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
My friends say I'm the hostess with the mostess! I absolutely love cooking and making sure I put on a really good spread that people enjoy. I also really love travelling – one of the best things about Dubai is that it’s in the middle of the world so I can travel even more.
Tara McDougall RESIZE

“I never really saw myself working in Dubai before I joined Mace but the scale of projects, the budgets available and the environment that you build in is so different that I had to try it.”