Women in Construction: In Pole Position for the Singapore Grand Prix

Virginia Yim
With the Singapore Grand Prix around the corner, I share why I’m part of the team.

Job of a lifetime

Hard work, determination, and a passion for project management landed me the job of a lifetime at Faithful+Gould – project managing the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.

The weeks leading up to the race can get tense and exciting at the same time.  An adrenaline rush that can’t be explained – spending more time in the project site office than at home and being extremely alert and focused to get the event ready – it's a side that the cameras don't reveal.

I started working on the Singapore Grand Prix in 2014 and since then have overseen the delivery of high profile areas in the circuit park such as the Temasek Suite, Paddock Club Suites, and The Garden. Over the years, my role has expanded to include the grandstands, and site-wide marquee structures and facilities. This year, my role also includes planning the facilities around circuit, which requires me to coordinate more with different SGP departments.

I remember my first year being involved with Paddock Club. It was as exciting as it was nerve-wracking. I carried a notebook with me all the time to jot down any ideas or tasks even when they came to me in the middle of the night. As with any other project, careful planning is essential. Months before the actual event, the whole team meets and strategises to define everyone’s roles and game plan. Having said that, as much as we prepare and plan, challenges will always crop up and we need to be 100% prepared to solve challenges as there is no room for error.

Diverse opportunities across the region

Having studied architecture, I started off working as a project manager in Canada before I joined Faithful+Gould in Hong Kong where I was involved in a wide range of projects for international financial clients including a major corporate office fit out in ICC (Hong Kong’s tallest tower). I also undertook a number of projects in the residential and retail sectors.

Moving to Hong Kong was my first step into Asia. I was keen to broaden my exposure to new sectors and geographical markets to further develop my career. I was grateful that the company fully supported internal mobility of talent which gave me the opportunity to join the Singapore team and be part of the Singapore Grand Prix team which is something truly special.

Racing towards my 6th successful year delivering Singapore Grand Prix

Delivering a high-profile event such as Formula One is something extraordinary compared to most other projects. There are no second chances and absolutely no time extensions. It is all done in one take, and all you can do is to organize, plan and prepare for the unexpected. As such, one needs to be highly motivated, versatile, able to work under pressure, and make precise decisions.  The Faithful and Gould team works well with each other without letting one feel it is an individual project. 

Imagine being on a roller coaster - you anticipate and feel excited before the first drop. You don’t know what happened in between because everything happens so fast. When the ride comes to a stop, you say to yourself: “Wow, did we do that?”, and you give yourself a big pat on the back. At the end of it all, I may have a few more strands of white hair, but with a smile and a feeling of great satisfaction.

Indeed, hard work pays off; the rewards are great when you manage a successful team and project. For me, I love what I do, and I love my role with the Singapore Grand Prix. That’s right – I said it, I meant it, and I am here to represent it!

 

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