Community Engagement Manager
Ushna’s career is built around helping communities. With a wealth of unique experience from the charity sector, she joined Mace in 2015 as a community engagement manager. Ushna is central to involving local people in development work that could affect them and creating opportunities for Mace to give back.
- How did you get into what you do?
After I finished my psychology degree I worked for a couple of charities that specialise in community work. I worked for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation which focuses on bringing communities together to work on the Millennium Development Goals. I then project managed a programme in London that helped to develop young people's employability.In the end, I wanted to do more and Mace was offering the exact opportunity I needed. I think businesses and charities need to work together to transform our communities and leave a positive lasting legacy for future generations.
- What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
I genuinely enjoy learning about the different processes in construction. To do my job I have to really understand the detail of each construction phase so that I can translate it for the public. I also love the range of things I get involved in and the people I get to meet in the community.
I really enjoy working with schools, especially because it opens the girls’ eyes to jobs in construction. It’s great to know that you’ve inspired someone - given them another option and something to think about.
- What is your proudest achievement at Mace?
- I’m immensely proud of all the work we do with our communities. We really put a lot of effort in, not just to keep people informed about the work we’re doing, but to understand their needs and give back to them. I like to think we always go the extra mile.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- Above all else, communication skills. You have to be able to speak to clients, the public and staff, and you need to be good at problem solving. We’re changing the landscape for communities so you must be able to empathise – to see things from the perspective of the residents and the site.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- I would love to be a writer. I had an article published in The Times and I will write a book one day – when I have the time. My MSc dissertation on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was also published, despite the fact I had a motorbike accident when I was studying in Sierra Leone. Luckily I ended up in the hospital where I was doing my research so I just carried on while I recovered!
“I’m immensely proud of all the work we do with our communities. ”