We talked to Commercial Manager, Charlotte Holyhead, about her early architecture aspirations, her route into constructions and why she’s passionate about making projects viable…
Did you choose construction as a career, or did you fall into it?
I decided on a career in construction aged nine on a school trip when I noticed how well the building we were using suited its purpose. I fell in love with the architecture. I wanted to be a part of creating buildings from that point onwards and I and set my mind on becoming an Architect.
Fast forward to age 18, having completed my A-levels and secured my position at university to study Architecture, I had a teenage crisis where I realised that I didn’t know anything about construction and decided I needed to do a foundation course in construction!
I politely declined my university offer and went back to college to study a B-Tech in construction. Here I discovered the world of surveying – mathematics, project management, planning and technical knowledge. Being involved in projects from inception through to completion, instead of just early design ticked all of my boxes.
In my third week I saw a ‘construction trainee’ position advertised to all students, and two weeks later started my trainee Quantity Surveyor job. I’ve never looked back at the Architect I could have become!
When it comes to construction, what’s your greatest passion?
Making a project viable. I am passionate about understanding the client’s wants and needs, and working with a great design and commercial team to come up with a solution that really works.
What’s your most memorable/standout project to date – and why?
Walsall Waterfront. One of my earliest contributions to the construction industry was measuring the ‘chameleon’ colour-changing cladding on an eight-storey apartment block that hundreds of people see every day as they enter the city. It’s something I always look out for (and mention) whenever I’m nearby.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking about a career in construction?
Go for it. Whatever your strengths or interests are, the industry is so vast there will always be a job to suit you.
What’s your biggest lesson learned?
To appreciate manual skills as much as mental and technical skills. Without the people on site who are physically constructing our spaces, we’d all be stuck.
What are you most proud of?
The year 2016. My first year as a new mum, completing my final year of university, being awarded a RICS award, working full time, planning my wedding and moving house all at once. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I know I’ve done it all before and can do it again.
One non-work fun fact?
We currently have three black and white cats, a spaniel (part-time), six miniature snails (in the living room) and an unknown number of frogs – we grow tadpoles in a tank every year.
To find out more about the building and construction capabilities of the Enrok Construction team, visit: https://enrok.co.uk/why-us/.