As a school boy, I knew that I wanted to be in the construction industry. I knew that I wanted to be working on major projects – place my mark and legacy on the international construction scene. How to get there was the question.

I went to Nelson Mandela University and studied towards a BSc Honours in Construction Management, which was accredited by the CIOB. Having been involved with the Construction Management Student Society, I was familiar with what the CIOB was and the benefits offered to members. During my final year, one of my lecturers, Chris Allen, asked whether I’d be interested in serving on the Local Hub as the Novus representative as a result of my leadership of the student society. Being a person that seldom says no, I jumped at it. Soon I was on a plane to Johannesburg to a Regional Hub meeting, determined to push the agenda of young professionals and build on my network. I joined a local construction company as a site manager after my last exam. After three years and following the birth of my first son, I decided to target my initial reason of joining the industry and aim for bigger projects. I applied for positions all around the world, yet experience wasn’t in my favour. Running out of options, I decided to leverage off the connections I made through the CIOB and call up Chad Short at Mace in Johannesburg to simply ask if there was a position I could apply for. There was.

Two months later my family and I relocated. I worked on fit-out projects for blue chip clients and PMO work for various entities – yet the urge for something bigger was still there. Having developed an interest in PMO’s and digital working, I developed a connection with Zoe Madams, PMO Services Business Unit Director at Mace in London. Following the opportunity to meet Zoe and her team during my trip to CIOB Member Forum in Toronto, I decided to yield to the bigger project urge and indicated my interest in moving over to the UK to work within Zoe’s PMO Team. As a result, a position became available for a senior manager for the newly awarded HS2 Euston project. I was confident in my ability to fulfil that role – yet, I wasn’t sure whether my CV supported that confidence. A requirement of a senior manager is to be professionally registered and it was about time I knuckled down and completed my MCIOB application. I received confirmation of my MCIOB award a few days prior to the deadline for the job vacancy application. I was successful in my application and I am sure the MCIOB status assisted the certainty of my application.

Without the involvement of CIOB since my student years, I do not believe I would be working on the largest infrastructure project in Europe. I am looking forward to what the CIOB has to offer the industry going forward, but more so on how I can give back to the organisation that has played a pivotal role in me achieving one of my career goals at a young age.