Consultancy, North America
With outstanding people skills and an unfailingly positive attitude, Derrick Linton navigates the most complex projects with a smile. Since joining our North America team in 2018, he has applied his project management expertise and architectural flair to deliver new labs and research facilities for some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical organisations.
- How did you end up in this career?
- I’m originally from Queens, a borough of New York City. When I was a kid I loved going to Manhattan to look at the skyscrapers and see the construction sites. I was amazed by the buildings. My uncle, who is an architect, inspired me to follow in his footsteps and study architecture at university. I graduated from Philadelphia University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture (with a dual minor in construction management and business). I then worked for an architectural firm in Philadelphia, designing restaurants and commercial facilities for three years, before switching gears to an engineering firm, where I worked in pharmaceutical project management for another three years. The versatile experience enabled me to see ‘the bigger picture’ and understand why having a central person who brings all entities in a project together is crucial for successful delivery.
- Why Mace?
- I joined Mace at the beginning of 2018 to be part of the company’s continued expansion in North America. I was looking for a reputable brand, and I knew that Mace was a global industry leader with prestigious clients and a strong track record of sustainability and innovation. There’s a huge amount of growth on the horizon in sectors like pharma and life sciences, which is where my passion lies. Mace gives you the opportunity to take the knowledge you have and apply it your way. It’s fantastic to be surrounded by people who continuously strive to find new and better ways of working, so we can deliver distinctive value to our clients.
- What do you enjoy the most about your role?
- What’s not to love! My role offers a lot of versatility and free reins to find the best solution for our clients. It’s rewarding to be in a role where I can draw on my architectural background to influence a project right from the start. Clients often have strong ideas of what they want in a design. Once we engage our architect I can transcribe what the architect is trying to show in a drawing and explain it to the client to make sure it meets their expectations. It’s a fun and fast-paced process, particularly in pharma where speed to market is everything. Drug companies have tight deadlines to get their products to market. I enjoy guiding our clients through the design and construction process know that I’m playing a part in successfully delivering life-saving drugs to people.
- What motivates you?
- For me it’s all about delivering a great project, educating our clients, and making them happy. I enjoy being the person responsible for all aspects of a project, building a strong team, and guiding the owner through the process. Some of our clients have decades of experience as scientists and work in buildings that are completely unchanged through the course of their careers. When we are developing a new lab, it is important to get the stakeholders’ input at an early stage and find out what they need, and what best fits their way of working. By taking the time to listen and understand the user perspective early in the process, we can get everyone onboard and excited about the project.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- Keep learning and take on new opportunities with an open mind. Whatever your first job may be, dive into it head first and absorb as much information as possible from the experienced people around you. Be inquisitive, roll up your sleeves and push yourself to learn something new each day. Over time, you will certainly develop a passion that evolves into a career. Just remember that you have to follow your own unique path and work your dreams until they become a reality.
- What do you get up to when you’re not working?
- I enjoy spending time with my wife, cooking, and seeing friends and family. I love traveling and being outdoors playing soccer, football and basketball, and more so watching the pros do it best from the comfort of my living room.
“It’s rewarding to be in a role where I can draw on my architectural background to influence a project right from the start”