Assistant Project Manager
Consultancy, Saudi Arabia
It may well have been a childhood fascination with Riyadh high-rises that led Abdullah Althibani to working in the built environment, but it’s his can-do attitude and passion for positive change that has really marked him a rising star in Mace Consult’s rapidly growing team in the city. Living the Mace values in all that he does, Abdullah brings a natural creativity to his role – using it to redefine the boundaries of ambition for our clients in Saudi Arabia.
- How did you get into what you do?
I’ve always been fascinated by large buildings and architecture. I grew up in Al Khobar in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, where it’s rare to spot a tall building. So, when my family moved to Riyadh when I was 15 it was a drastic change. I couldn’t take my eyes off all the high-rise buildings above me, it inspired me to see how the transformation of the city was benefiting the lives of its residents, I wanted to be a part of the movement. After falling in love with buildings of Riyadh, I pursued my passion and attended King Saud University to gain a degree in Civil Engineering. My degree led me to working as a site engineer contractor and after gaining experience in those projects, I felt the time was right to take the next step in my career and join Mace. In 2021, I started in the Graduate development scheme as a Project Assistant and in just under two years, I was promoted to Assistant Project Manager.
- Why Mace?
Although Mace is a large global company, I feel like the corporate purpose and priorities really resonate with my own personal values. Mace consultants constantly go the extra mile, whether it’s to problem-solve, find a better way of doing things, or applying lessons learned from other projects to improve delivery. Our corporate purpose - ‘to redefine the boundaries of ambition’ - resonates with the transformation that is taking place in my country in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. One of Mace’s three corporate priorities is to pursue a sustainable world, something I also feel strongly about. Mace has an excellent track record of delivering for clients and there are so many exciting projects and programmes under way here in Saudi Arabia. It’s great to be a part of an industry that makes a tangible difference to the quality of life for local people and drives positive change, in line with the Saudi 2030 Vision.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
- It’s hard to pick just one thing, but I would say the people are definitely one of the things that I enjoy the most at Mace. I’m fortunate to work alongside colleagues with decades of delivery experience on major programmes such as the London 2012 Olympics and Expo 2020 Dubai, which allows me to constantly learn and develop. I’m only taking the first steps into my career so being surrounded by the knowledge that my colleagues bring, inspires trust and makes me feel supported. As someone taking their first steps into the industry, there’ not much more I could ask for.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
Communication is at the centre of my role. By having good communication skills, I’m able to gain the confidence of my colleagues and clients and this has ultimately been the biggest contributing factor to my success so far. My work environment is fast paced and constantly changing, meaning organisation skills are also key. By having plans in place and clarity in what I am doing, I feel comfortable in any situation and can handle it confidently.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
Firstly, be brave and push yourself out of your comfort zone – it’s the best way to learn. Until you start pushing yourself you’ll never know your full capabilities. Second, be passionate about the area in which you work. Saudi Arabia is my home. Every day I go into work excited to create a change. This has kept me motivated throughout my career and encourages me to go a little further with everything I do. And lastly, be open to learn. You’re never too experienced to learn and for me, every day is a learning day. Some of the most valuable information I have gained has been whilst working and the Mace graduate scheme has really helped me gain a head start in my career. I was able to gain knowledge and experience at the same time whilst also being supported by my mentors.
- If you hadn't of got into this line of work, what do you think you would be doing?
When I was younger - I was obsessed with drawing buildings so if I was to pursue another career, it would be as an artist. Even though things didn’t go that way, I’m still able to utilise my creative side as an assistant project manager, assisting in the design of buildings.
- What's something interesting about you that not many people know?
Not a lot of people know - that after I graduated from King Saud, I was given my own personal project to design my family a new home. I was able to embrace my creative side whilst also being able to give back to my family.
“It’s great to be a part of an industry that makes a tangible difference to the quality of life for local people and drives positive change, in line with the Saudi 2030 Vision.”