UCEM Property Awards 2018: Interview with a past winner

The 31st UCEM Property Awards take place tomorrow in London. Three guests will walk away with awards from the luncheon at Haberdashers’ Hall.

There will be the main Property Award which goes to a person who, or an organisation which, has made an outstanding contribution to the property industry. Previous winners of this prestigious award, inaugurated in 1987, have included Sir Michael Latham – author of The Latham Report which transformed the modern construction industry, the National Trust and our Royal Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.

Since 2015, the awards ceremony has also included presentation of the UCEM Academic Excellence award – which recognises the academic excellence and quality of students’ research and dissertation submissions – and the UCEM Alumni of the Year award – which goes to an alumnus/alumna who has been nominated for their outstanding contributions throughout their early careers towards a better Built Environment.

In the final preview blog (having looked in closer detail at our Academic Excellence and Alumni of the Year nominees earlier this week) before tomorrow’s ceremony, we caught up with the 2017 Alumni of the Year winner, Laura Collins

 

 

A year on, what are your memories of last year’s awards?

“The luncheon was a fantastic afternoon. I really enjoyed chatting to all the hosts and guests – what a fantastic group of talent in one room!

“I had recently joined RLB [Rider Levett Bucknall where Laura works as an Associate M&E Quantity Surveyor], so it was a wonderful start to my journey with the company. It really was a privilege to win, especially as the calibre of global talent was so high!”

 

What impact has winning the award had on you?

“Winning the award really boosted my confidence, particularly as I had only very recently returned to work from maternity leave. It has provided a great platform which has since led to other opportunities, such as being asked to be a speaker at the RICS Quantity Surveying Summit.”

 

What have you been getting up to over the past year?

“I have been busier than ever, securing work with new clients and building relationships with existing clients on very interesting projects.

“I have also been working with UCEM to launch RLB’s MEP Academy. I am very passionate about the future of our industry and this year alone we have recruited six apprentices to join the Academy. Not only will our apprentices complete their studies with UCEM, they will be provided with on-the-job training specialising in Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health installations. We have partnered with a series of industry specialists to enhance our offering to our apprentices, recruiting highly talented individuals to continue to deliver an exceptional level of service to our clients.

“I have also recently been appointed to RLB’s Futures Board – an innovative platform that was launched to recognise and harness the ideas and initiatives of the remarkable team we have at RLB – which works to implement a series of initiatives to help shape the future of our industry.”

 

What aspirations do you have for your Built Environment career?

“There really is no limit at RLB. I have never worked for such an inclusive company where the work/life balance is at the forefront. I take a day-by day approach and enjoy the variety and scope of the role. Having a career that others can aspire to really motivates me, but my ultimate and most important motivation is being an inspirational Mother to my daughter.”

 

To keep up-to-date with all the latest at tomorrow’s Property Awards, including the crowning of 2018’s award winners, follow our @StudyUCEM Twitter account for live commentary.