Emerging Talent

Will Allan

Graduate, Assistant Construction Manager

Construction, UK

After graduating with a civil engineering degree and the title of ‘Captain’ of the university rowing club, Will joined the Mace Graduate Development Programme in 2015 as a trainee construction manager. He is working on the flagship Television Centre project and has been amazed at the level of responsibility he has been given at such an early stage in his career.

What attracted you to the Mace Graduate Development Programme?

Although I was unsure what I wanted to eventually do throughout my university days, I knew I enjoyed the more practical, problem solving courses over the technical ones and often found myself taking the lead during group projects. During my penultimate year, I was introduced to a director at Mace and took advantage of a few site visits at the Tate Modern and South Bank Tower. It taught me a lot about the construction industry and got me thinking that it might suit me as a career.

Although the site visits sparked my excitement for a career in construction, it was the people that I met that encouraged me to apply for the graduate scheme. The supportive, yet challenging, nature of the company looked like the best place for me to develop early in my career – and I’m pleased to say that I’ve not been disappointed.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

I'm currently working on the £400m Television Centre project and my specific role is to support the refurbishment of the historic Helios structure at the heart of the project. I arrived on-site during the demolition phase and found it fascinating how such a vast building could be removed so quickly.

I manage site activities at the Centre by making sure the works are being carried out in line with the programme and project/package manager requirements. I'm also responsible for ensuring everyone on site is working in the safest way possible – it is my responsibility to raise and solve issues immediately.

What has been the best thing about Mace's Graduate Development Programme?
The best thing is that we get to build a strong network of colleagues and friends across the business in roles so different to our own - it's an excellent learning platform. This year we formed a multidisciplinary team to do an academic project on a school extension. We had to identify the client's needs and engineer the project all the way through to the construction phase before presenting our solution to the Mace Group Board.
Will Allan, Graduate Trainee, Construction

“The projects you can get involved in are fantastic and if you let your enthusiasm shine through, the confidence required for the job will follow.”

What skills do you need to be good at your job?
My engineering background is really useful for problem-solving and understanding the sequence of construction from a structural point of view. It's also important to be a good communicator – being on site means you have to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals.
What do you hope you will be doing in the next five years?
I hope to be managing elements of a major project and I'd like to enrol on Mace’s Developing Success programme to gain further exposure to high-profile influencers and to further my knowledge.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I'm a keen sportsman - I rowed competitively across the UK during university and I compete for my local tennis club.
What advice would you give to someone applying for the graduate scheme at Mace?
Read up on Mace, what we do and what we have done. The projects you can get involved in are fantastic and if you let your enthusiasm shine through, the confidence required for the job will follow.