Name: Sophie Smith
Position: Chartered Building Surveyor
Company: Atkins, United Kingdom
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of Construction & Development?
I enjoy making a difference every day to the buildings and the environment around us! I truly love my job and every day is different; from airports to universities and data centres, to shopping malls and travelling to remote locations like the Falkland Islands, my job challenges me every day and it is a privilege to make outstanding places to work, study, live and enjoy, for my clients and the public.
Where do you see life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
I see myself continuing to grow and develop within the industry and embracing opportunities as they come. I am keen to take on bigger and more complex projects both in the UK and abroad. I also see myself contributing to making big steps towards a more gender balanced industry and build on the fantastic efforts and momentum from men and women, on the agenda currently taking place. We can all make a difference.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
Follow your gut and do not be overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Don’t worry about the seven years of studying because I would like to tell you that you will be embarking on ‘lifelong learning’, so enjoy the journey. Please be yourself and don’t try to be like someone else to ‘fit in’. By being yourself, you will be able to give all of your energy towards being the best you can be at the task at hand and fulfil your potential; authenticity is everything.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
The three skills I have developed to get to where I am presently are:
- Enthusiasm: I am naturally very enthusiastic, and this helped me overcome barriers presented to me in the early stages of my career, where although I did not fit in as the only girl on my HNC in Construction course, my enthusiasm for construction and passion for success in my apprenticeship helped drive me forward and always focus on the positives. Being constantly curious and interested in what you do is a great skill. My enthusiasm has also helped me encourage others to join this fantastic industry; be enthusiastic, it rubs off.
- Networking: Building your network is so important. This allows you to find role models, develop knowledge and raise your profile. Moreover, networking has given me an immense number of friends and support, which has been a key driver in my success. Joining Women in Property was a key point in my career and experiencing the support, encouragement, trust and friendships this offered has definitely enhanced my career, confidence and given strength to business opportunities.
- Organisation: being organised and methodical is essential to my role. I am very lucky to be involved with construction projects right from the initial brief, through to design, construction and handing over. I have to be extremely organised to ensure projects go well, are delivered on time and on budget, whilst also managing project teams, contractors, designers and stakeholders.