John Campbell, General Director, Consultancy
Mace People

John Campbell

General Director, Country Director for Vietnam

Consultancy, Asia Pacific

John has worked in the construction industry for 21 years. Starting out as an electrician, he soon moved into management and joined Mace in 2003 as an Assistant Project Manager. In April 2011, John moved to Vietnam as a Project Director and has now been promoted to General Director, making him responsible for over 60 people and multiple projects.
How did you get into what you do?
I qualified as an electrician in 1999 and I think I knew very early on that my interest was in managing big projects. I was basically following in my dad's footsteps as he also started out as an electrician, and moved over to a management role.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
No day is the same which keeps life very interesting. Since taking on the business development role in Vietnam, securing work and building relationships has really become a highlight. Developing the team here in Vietnam has also been fantastic over the last two and a half years. We have a very strong team.
What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?
It was the first project I led as a Project Director. I had never done the role before so I was quite nervous about the whole thing. I was working on the Nokia project and we completed a day early, US$3m under budget, and had over 2.7m man hours without a reportable incident. Because of the achievement we won the Global Excellence Award at the Mace Star Awards [internal Mace awards that recognise individuals and teams who have made an outstanding contribution to the company], which I proudly collected on our team's behalf.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
You don’t have to go down the university route. Coming up through a trade background also makes a strong, competent manager. For anyone considering the degree route, I would strongly recommend doing it through distance learning and before having a family. 

I started an MSc in International Construction Management but the commitment needed, weighed up against my family life, was too great. It's a big regret that I have but it hasn’t held me back, and I couldn’t compromise spending time with my children.

What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love teaching my kids, especially to swim. Swimming was something I was exceptionally good at when I was younger, and that makes me drive them to also be the best they can be. I also love golf and I’m the captain of my local pool team.
John Campbell, General Director, Consultancy

“I was working on the Nokia project and we completed a day early, US$3m under budget, and had over 2.7m working hours without a reportable incident.”