Regional Director for Cost Consultancy
After carving out a successful career in human resources, Karen is now using her experience and qualifications to help people at Mace to develop and achieve their own professional goals.
- How did you get into what you do?
I sort of stumbled into it, but then I always knew that I would end up doing something with figures so I guess it’s not too surprising that I ended up in cost consultancy.
After I left school I did a part-time degree course in quantity surveying and worked for a private QS practice at the same time.
In 2004 I joined a limited liability partnership as an associate director, specialising in project management and quantity surveying. Then in 2008 I moved to Mace as an operations director, and within 18 months became a regional director for cost consultancy.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
Finding solutions for clients. The ethos of what Mace offers - going the extra mile and making sure customers get the best value - sits well with me. I also really enjoy helping less experienced people to develop. I get a real buzz from mentoring people around me and sharing my business experiences.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
More recently, we delivered a multiplex cinema for a council that was a huge challenge but a great success because of our approach. The whole scheme felt like we were pushing an elephant’s foot into a ballerina’s shoe, but we brought in other parts of the business to support the project and keep it on track which saw off delays with project management support.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?
I hope I’ll still be at Mace. I’ll need a new challenge by then but the business is so diverse that I won’t need to look elsewhere.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love being in the great outdoors – cycling or walking. I’m planning to walk the 82 miles of Hadrian’s Wall this year with other staff in the business unit to raise money for a school for children who have physical, complex medical and/or complex communication difficulties. Why not put my passion to good use!
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
I would have liked to have become a historian and viniculture consultant. I’ve also always had a dream of running a boutique hotel. I love entertaining and cooking for family and friends so that ambition might still be realised one day.
“The ethos of what Mace offers - going the extra mile and making sure customers get the best value - sits well with me. ”