After realising her choice of degree, law, didn’t appeal to her as a career, Charlotte Robson explored other sectors at her careers fair and found she was interested in construction.
Where do you call home?
Hurworth, near Darlington.
Tell us about your role?
I am an assistant project manager at Turner & Townsend, which is a global construction-based consultancy. I work within the Northeast Infrastructure team and support in the management of key project tasks, such as monitoring progress, costs and engaging with key stakeholders to help ensure projects are successful.
How did you get to where you are today?
After finishing school, I went to sixth form and studied law, sociology, and religious studies. I then went on to study law at the University of Leeds. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my degree, through work experience I realised it wasn’t the career path for me.
I therefore spent my final year at university trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I finished my studies. I met Turner & Townsend at my university careers fair and resonated a lot with what they do and the opportunity to work on projects across the world with a range of clients.
Project management has a lot of transferable skills such as good communication, being organised and having good time management. It therefore means that people from various backgrounds can enter the profession.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
Trying to figure out what I wanted to do after university and how my change in career path from law might affect this. Then upon entering the construction industry, I had a personal struggle to overcome in terms of being completely new to the industry and having no background knowledge. I was worried that this would put me at a disadvantage, but I was wrong. However, the biggest challenge was that six months after starting my job, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and I was therefore faced with working from home on a new client project in a new sector of the industry. Gaining support and guidance from my colleagues and not being afraid to admit when I am not sure on something has not only helped me develop in my role, but also built a level of respect from my work peers.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
Delivering my first project successfully. I was asked to step up as the lead project manager for the contractor on the project, so being able to see it completed and come into use on time and to budget was a proud moment – particularly as the feedback I received from the client was very complimentary and I was asked to go back and support
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get things wrong in the first instance. Don’t worry if you are not 100 per cent sure what you want to do as a career or you don’t get the first job you apply for. I believe things happen for a reason and you will get there in the end.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep working hard but don’t put pressure on yourself to know exactly what you want to do. Be open to any opportunities that present themselves to you.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
You’ve got this!
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