Name: Jo Evans
Position: Collections Editor, School of Built Environment
Company: Western Sydney University
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
I am new to the area of construction & development. My current role involves curating collections of articles for reference and to educate people within the industry to help make improvements related to lean construction processes and ethical construction behaviours. The idea is that these collections, once complete, will act as comprehensive assemblages of information that industry agents can dip into, or else immerse themselves within, to help them to begin or continue to make improvements within the industry. Whilst identifying suitable items for these collections, I have inevitably been learning a great deal about the subject areas, which I find both enlightening and fascinating. My built environment knowledge has grown exponentially, and as an environmentalist, I love witnessing developments within construction that go towards reducing our negative environmental impact and focus on sustainability.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
My life has been so diverse up to this point, so I wouldn’t attempt to predict that far in advance! I am optimistic that there will continue to be improvements in construction procedures, values and ethics, and innovations that not only impact the well-being of the construction community, but are increasingly sustainable and assist in impeding the rapid environmental changes currently occurring. My children will be 18 and 20 by that stage, with more of an idea of where their own paths will lead them. As their growing independence enables them to transport themselves to basketball commitments, I look forward to reinvigorating my own life adventures and creative interests.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
I know it seems like there is so much you don’t know, and an enormity to learn – trust me, you will never know it all, but you are a sponge, so you need to take advantage of that. You will be REALLY tired of school when your exams are finished, so take a break to re-boot and really think about what you enjoy and what you are good at, rather than what society expects of you. Blend the result of that thinking into your career, and realise the qualities and skills you already possess – they are an impressive starting point. Use that beautiful brain to its full potential, and have more confidence in that potential and in yourself and your abilities. There will always be obstacles and change, as well as loss, but these things will help you grow and develop as a person, building on your resilience and inner strength. They will help to shape you; accept and internalise them. You will always be an unerring optimist and possess an overflow of empathy, these are your greatest strengths.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Creativity: the ability to think laterally to come up with solutions in order to succeed in the unusual, as well as sometimes in the everyday tasks that need a new outlook.
- Confident communication: I have always been a listener and a writer, but talking within a group situation isn’t something that comes naturally.
- Interview skills: I have had many interviews, ranging from fantastic to diabolical. What makes a huge difference is preparation and practice – preempting relevant interview questions, and videoing myself answering them, results in fewer nerves and greater self-confidence.