Senior Project Manager
Fit out, UK
The last five years have been busy for Simon. Never one to keep still for long, he's taken every opportunity that has come his way and has clocked up some serious air miles along the way. From Leek to Baku, Dubai to Johannesburg, Simon has built up a fascinating career and a wealth of construction knowledge from around the world.
- How did your career lead you to Mace?
- I left school and started as a labourer at a company in London before beginning an electrician apprenticeship. Unfortunately the company folded but it cemented my plans to eventually go to university and led to me spending an industry placement year at a retail specialist. I learnt a lot and worked with some great people, one left to work at Mace. After I graduated, he invited me to join him and we're still working together today.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
- In the past five years I’ve progressed from a junior construction manager to a senior project manager. I worked in the retail sector in the UK and then moved with Mace internationally before coming back to the UK. Being able to work abroad has been fantastic – it’s given me experience of different contract types and also access to a wide group of clients. I’ve worked on major projects for retail, banking and developer clients. It’s been a fantastic way to learn new methods of working, some of which I’ve brought back and applied to my current project.
- What has been your proudest moment at Mace?
- Working on the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. It was the first stadium of its kind in Azerbaijan and played host to the 2015 European Games. Being part of something so important was fantastic.
“I was so proud of working on the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. It was the first stadium of its kind in Azerbaijan and played host to the 2015 European Games. Being part of something so important was fantastic.”
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- Good communication is really important. You need to be personable and patient. Everyone has a role to play on a project and being able to work collaboratively is key to success.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- If you're looking at working internationally, a degree is imperative. The Chartered Institute of Building is a useful qualification and a good industry body to be part of. Other than that, be site based as much as possible as it’s the best way to learn and to figure out how things are put together.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- I’m a big fan of classic cars. Oh and I’m a co-owner of an ice cream venture in Johannesburg called 2Scoops – so if you're ever in the area, pop in and try it out!
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
- I think I’d probably be pursuing a career in public relations or journalism.