Chika Njoku

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How have you found the graduate scheme at Mace?

I’ve found the grad scheme engaging and instrumental in my development as a project manager. Even though it was all done virtually, it was so nice meeting new grads and other people across the business through my day-to-day work as well as through the grad projects and my work with EDIN. I would recommend to anyone looking to pursue a career in construction!

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

I would like to have gotten my first chartership and the title of Project Manager!

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I would say that I studied Mechanical Engineering. I don’t have the stereotypical “look” of an engineer. 

Why Mace?

I had never considered a career in construction until I started applying for industrial placements. I came across Mace and loved their values and ethics. I enjoyed my placement year so much that I didn’t give a second thought to come back to Mace when I finished uni. Irrespective of your age or grade, you’re treated as a valued member of the business. There is no limit to what you can achieve in Mace. 

What your roles includes e.g. typical activities and key responsibilities

It’s hard to describe what I do on a day-to-day basis, but I’ll give it a try lol! I basically manage people and processes across the project. My role involves a lot of meetings, emails, and general communication between clients, contractors, and the design team. I have to ensure the project is running within scope, budget and timescales. I also highlight upcoming risks and helping the client find solutions to problems. I’m basically the “go-to” person on the project. 

What makes Mace a great place to work?

There are so many amazing projects to get involved and learn so much from whether they are big or small. During my placement year, I was involved in the refurb of the office for the Legal Aid Agency and the National Probations office worth about £800k. Now I’m involved in a massive residential regeneration scheme worth about £1b! But I’ve learnt so much from both of them and worked with amazing people. There is also an opportunity to get involved in initiatives outside of your day to day work such as being a part of the Steering Group Committee for EDIN. Through this I’m able to give back to the community through volunteering and also supporting new colleagues as they join the business. This is also such a great way to meet new people outside your project team. 

What training you have received?

I have received my APM PFQ certificate as well extra training around the use of Asta PowerPorject (a software used to put together construction programmes) and various grad training sessions around different stages in the project life cycle. I am also in the process of obtaining my first construction chartership called the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). 

The best and worst pieces of your job 

I would say the best part of my job is speaking to people on a daily basis. I picked consultancy as I wanted a people-facing job and construction as it is quite technical. So it’s kind of the best of both worlds. I would say the worst part is when something goes wrong as it usually goes back to the project manager! However, I have a very supportive team who help to steer me in the right direction.

How their career has progressed at Mace

I’ve just completed my first year of the grad scheme and looking forward to starting my second. Hoping to also get my first promotion soon!