The head of the Cambridge office spends her working day visiting clients all over East Anglia and London
My days start early, getting up with my husband and daughter around 5.30am. This suits my current role as head of Faithful+Gould’s Cambridge office.
I rarely have a ‘typical’ day, as it can vary quite dramatically as it’s a really busy multi sector, multi service office. I’m based in our Cambridge office but have clients throughout East Anglia and in London - in places like Bedford, Norwich and Ipswich. As a consequence I spend quite a bit of time travelling from site to site, dealing with our projects and working with key clients. This is the best part of my job, which I love.
Much of my activity is spent advising clients on things like dispute resolution and general problem solving to help projects move forward. However, I also do quite a bit of cost and procurement work too.
As head of the Cambridge office I’m also responsible for the quality of all client work from our team and for organising things like our summer reception for clients in June.
I get a real kick from seeing buildings being delivered where we’ve helped make a material difference along the development pathway, from conception to construction and then end use
Much of the client work is in the commercial property sector, but we also do a lot of transport projects, covering highways and utilities. We also work closely in numerous circumstances with our parent company Atkins, for instance on an education framework for Cambridgeshire County Council, working across 11 schools.
We’re currently doing a lot of work at the Norwich Research Park for a number of clients including the John Innes Centre and the Institute of Food Research. We have been helping with the upgrade of the communications facilities with state of the art technology on the A14 from Leicester to Felixstowe.
I’ve just completed our business plan for the year, and it looks really promising this year with a sector focus on science and research, education, health, defence, and of course commercial property. Plus we’re looking to concentrate on infrastructure, as this is a real strength of ours in the office. To help achieve this we’ll hopefully recruit four or five new staff this year.
All of the work underpins my love of driving the best possible value for clients’ projects - stretching the supply chain to work efficiently together while still crucially retaining quality. I get a real kick from seeing buildings being delivered where we’ve helped make a material difference along the development pathway, from conception to construction and then end use. It’s this aspect of making a real difference to the future fabric of the region, which I find so worthwhile - you’re really adding something important to local communities.
This comes into sharp focus as a parent, as I hate seeing damaged communities which have a poor building stock and the social problems that brings with it. I’m passionate about good buildings, and so many communities can be improved with relatively simple measures. It’s probably why my husband and I are also embarking on a 10 year project to restore our home, a listed building in the Fens.
All of this means that while my working day is usually long and often challenging, it’s also constantly fascinating and fulfilling.