I joined Atkins' management consulting department after working on the Olympic Games as a self-employed sustainability consultant with a large events firm. I had a first degree in geography and an MSc in environmental management.
I enjoyed my work on Atkins' IT and Project Management Office related projects but a year later I was keen to return to the world of the built environment. I loved the Atkins culture, so I looked around the Group’s huge range of opportunities, and joined Faithful+Gould’s SAM graduate programme in 2014.
What is SAM Consulting?
How property and real estate are managed are critical success factors for most organisations. The SAM team consult to optimise clients' property strategies by aligning it to their business goals. We review what property is needed and how it is used, serviced and maintained over its lifetime. SAM projects combine asset management and facilities management, and include the management of a building in the post-construction phase. We also advise on Sustainability in the built environment.
I’m in a really supportive environment, where training is prioritised, and any suggestions/requests are welcomed. As the first new graduate to join the SAM team for some time, I was able to write not only my own training plan, but also equip future graduates to reach consultant level by helping to develop the SAM graduate training programme.
As the first new graduate to join the SAM team for some time, I was able to write not only my own training plan, but also equip future graduates...
The programme we developed focuses on the core Atkins/Faithful+Gould development areas. We have a broad technical remit, and therefore our team are members of a wide range of professional associations such as Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) to name only a few. It’s important that the programme has the flexibility to accommodate this, as such we’ve included the provision for a master’s degree, or BIFM diploma or equivalent and added other relevant competencies like PRINCE2, Excel and Sales Excellence.
I’m now working towards the BIFM diploma. I’m learning a lot on my central London course, which also gives me good networking opportunities as most of my cohort are operations managers – they provide the services that our team advises on. The business backs my study both financially, and practically, with study leave as well as a willingness to move me onto projects that support my training needs. This included a short placement with a client’s operations team, to boost my commercial and operations experience.
I am on target to achieve my BIFM membership early this year. I’m also building up the five years’ experience needed for RICS accreditation, as my degree isn’t accredited by the RICS. It’s great that there are now so many routes to achieving accreditation. Although I do not have RICS accreditation, I recently passed my Faithful+Gould assessment panel, so have completed the graduate scheme, and become a fully-fledged consultant. I have recently been supported by my team in joining the Women's Development Programme, which will further promote continued professional development.
Our SAM Team
I feel so lucky to work in a varied, supportive and close-knit team. There are around 20 of us, some from building surveying backgrounds, some from operational FM, and others from Project Management. I love the diversity of experience – it makes for a dynamic and interesting working life.
I have recently been supported by my team in joining the Women's Development Programme, which will further promote continued professional development.
I’m one of three women in the team – and Atkins and Faithful+Gould are keen to encourage more women applicants into these traditionally male-dominated professions. So many consulting firms are proud to say they work you into the ground, but Faithful+Gould offers a good work life balance. Working late, working from home, challenging projects and team socials are all doled out in sensible measures! I’m especially inspired by my colleague Hannah Davis, whose SAM expertise won her the 2015 Women of the Future Award for real Estate, infrastructure and construction.
We work on a wide range of projects from small procurements to huge government contracts. When I joined I went straight into some really exciting and challenging projects - an intensive project for Royal Mail, and a large procurement framework with the Crown Commercial Service. I am now working with a defence sector client.
My colleagues are working on lots of different projects, including overseas. Our global SAM portfolio includes the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC) in Athens, Roche in Switzerland and Singapore Sports Hub (Singapore’s first PPP project).
When I joined I went straight into some really exciting and challenging projects...
Our projects come through a number of routes - some of our projects come via the wider business’s existing clients, some come via the various frameworks we are on, such as the Crown Commercial Service - Consultancy One, and many from other sources.
SAM is a growth area for Faithful+Gould, and we’re developing our business in four main areas – Strategy and Transformation, SAM, Strategic Facilities Management and Sustainability.
It’s a robust workload, and our expanding team currently has a range of opportunities. You could be part of a dynamic team that pulls together in challenging situations, has very open communications, and has a supportive and relatively flat structure. If you’re interested in joining the team I’d recommend you get in touch with us for an initial chat.