Name: Pam Drakopoulos
Position: Design Manager/Project Manager
Company: PSCA- Property Subdivision
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
I love connecting with people. During the stages of project design and construction, it is important to build relationships at all levels while working with the team and stakeholders. This keeps me motivated and is rewarding, as I can communicate and build solid relationships with consultants, local council and clients.
I am passionate about the built environment and how it affects people. Every project is unique, and I love the challenge of identifying the risks and working through the project issues to achieve project delivery on time and within budget. Every project provides learning opportunities, to enhance my skill set and knowledge. I complete the project with a sense of achievement, taking a little bit every time that builds my skills and experience in this industry.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
The Covid climate has provided me with the opportunity to re-evaluate my purpose and values. For me, it’s a matter of taking the leap to being challenged and reinvent myself to a point. I am interested in social housing and public sector capital projects. To be given the opportunity to lead and mentor in this type of project delivery for the community will liberate me. I believe I am in a privileged position to do so, having a transferable skill set, and having built extensive knowledge and experience in planning, design, documentation, and contract administration.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
When I was growing up, I was shy and lacked confidence. My father was an enormous influence in my life and always believed in me – he was a builder and he inspired me to be an architect. I would say to myself –“stop the self-doubt and believe in yourself.” I would assure myself and acknowledge my parents as dedicated guides, to teach self-worth and self-love. I would say to myself, “when you value yourself, you can follow your truth and accept criticism and failure as a part of living”. I worked this out much later in my life.
I would emphasise to the 13-year-old Pam the female stereotype is unrealistic and “you are unique and will grow to be a guide and mentor in your personal life and career because of your qualities.”
Finally, encouraging the young Pam to be brave and not be concerned about what people think or compare herself with other people. I would say to her – “Make yourself known and share your ideas and thoughts with others, because this is how you grow in knowledge and in yourself, developing assertiveness and accepting criticism.”
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Strong negotiation skills: From concept to project completion, I have developed skill sets where I am able to identify project risks. I am well equipped and able to negotiate with all stakeholders to procure well thought out and cost-effective planning, as well as building and subdivision development approvals within an acceptable timeline.
- Assertive: From early days working as an architectural graduate, I started to develop assertiveness. I was very much aware of the male dominance in the boardroom / on-site. But this was not going to stop my passion and sincere interest in planning, design and construction.
- Resilience: I believe this is essential in this industry and goes hand in hand with objective decision making. I have learnt this skill and embrace it every day being privileged to be in a management role.