We are delighted to share inspirational advice from two of our speakers who will be presenting to our Sprint participants next week.
Associate Director, West Water Group Leader - Arup
Catherine read Civil Engineering at Bristol University and joined Arup upon graduation. Her first project was the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden working on designing bouncy ballet rehearsal room floors and a studio theatre that wouldn’t vibrate from passing underground trains. Over the next 4 years Catherine worked on a wonderful range of buildings and did a year’s site experience with O’Rourkes and focused on securing her Civil Chartership. Catherine moved to San Francisco with the company a month after taking her civils interview to work on seismic buildings. With her knowledge of American Codes, Catherine was well placed to deliver a large-scale project in Panama. Catherine led a multi-disciplinary team working across 11 countries. Catherine's advice to women embarking on their careers:
- Say yes to opportunities – I didn’t know anything about Water but found the challenge really rewarding.
- Discuss promotions with your support network – knowing that my husband, parents and friends would step in and help whilst I took on more responsibility was vital to agreeing to the leadership role I now hold.
- Be realistic about part time working – I have done 3, 4 and 5 day weeks, shuffled my days around and tried all sorts of combinations to suit what I was doing at any particular time.
Principal Program Manager - Microsoft
Colette applied for a place on a degree course in business computing as an adult returner (after her children started school). While she was apprehensive about studying again she found the course really stimulating and achieved a 1st class degree. Since then, Collete has worked in the IT industry for 17 years and has experienced much change and innovation in that time. Colette's advice to women embarking on their careers:
- Always stretch for goals you don’t think you can reach, you will surprise yourself about what you can achieve
- Leading people is about setting direction and removing obstacles it isn’t about dominating others
- Difficult things will happen but you can always choose how you deal with them so choose to be positive and optimistic
- Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching