When I became a Fellow of the CIOB, in 2010, and was advised that I had passed the CIOB interview process, it felt like such a great achievement! This was gained through hard work and effort in my day job and is, to this day, proof to other professionals of my credentials and level of experience. It provides assurance as well to clients of the experience and competence that I bring to my work.
My pathway to FCIOB was via the MCIOB route, and I was interviewed before a panel of three CIOB Fellows in London where I was based at the time. I recall it being rather nerve racking, but the interviewers just wanted to find out more about me and my work, and any particular interests and achievements. The interview process is structured slightly different now and there are wider ranging discussions about industry issues, which possibly wouldn’t have made me so nervous!
The CIOB acknowledged my Fellowship in a fantastic way and I had my profile published in an international CIOB magazine with other women that were CIOB Fellows in both Chinese and English narrative. I would really like to encourage other female and male members to achieve this nomination, and just say go for it! Do not leave it too late. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I was probably about mid-career age when I applied, but it would be nice to see younger people apply for this, they just need the confidence to do so. Possibly some mentoring might help from another CIOB member if confidence is an issue – and this can often be arranged via the CIOB Hub networks.
Stepping Stones to becoming a Fellow
Becoming a Fellow also acknowledges that you have gone above and beyond the duties of your day job. I have undertaken various committee work for the CIOB over the years and was Chair of the CIOB London Branch Sustainability Group from 2010 – 2013. I also attended CIOB London Branch Committee Meetings, and I was also a committee member for a while of the CIOB Conservation, Maintenance and Refurbishment Group from 2003. I also helped to initially mentor young leaders in establishing Novus (the young faces and young leaders of the CIOB) in the early formation of Novus in London, which then went on to become incredibly successful.
I participated in other CIOB opportunities as a CIOB member with a career spanning over 22 years to develop my leadership skills, such as being a judge of innovative research work and reviewing research papers which contributed to discussion topics during my Fellowship interview. I volunteered to be a judge of construction professionals of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, representing the CIOB and IOC, and remember feeling how awesome it was to interview a contractor who had helped build the Olympic stadium. I was also requested by the CIOB to present to a number of Institutes at an annual Christmas event some years ago, and I chose to talk about how the role of the CIOB had benefitted me and my career. I have been requested on occasion to write short articles for Construction Project Manager magazine (Vox Pop article). In short, I have had many opportunities afforded me by the CIOB during my career as a Project Manager since I joined the Institute, which have not only been interesting but also rewarding. I would therefore say reach out for opportunities that the CIOB has to offer if you can and are interested.
Since being a Fellow I have worked on some great projects in my role as a Senior Project Manager and have had a very varied and enjoyable career. Some of the significant projects I’ve worked on are the London and Olympic & Paralympic Games in 2012 as an Environmental Manager, and as a Senior Project Manager I project managed the listed roof restoration of Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds Library.
Since becoming a Fellow, I have gone on to be a part time Board Director for charities such as North Yorkshire Sport and also an Academy Trust in North Yorkshire around my day job and have moved from the built environment to the rail industry. In 2011, a year after my CIOB Fellowship, I set up a LinkedIn site called Women in Sustainable Construction and Property which now has over 1270 members and organised numerous events in London and Leeds to support women to talk about their work experience. One of the events involved Rebecca Thompson, previous CIOB President, presenting on diversity matters.
After a break from being an active member of the CIOB for over 10 years I have recently returned to join the CIOB’s Yorkshire based hub and have joined the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion panel, to continue my journey as an active CIOB fellow member.
I hope to inspire and support other people in some way whatever that might be to become a Fellow, as you simply never know where this may take you and the benefits are far reaching.