Keep updated on Built Environment industry insights and thoughts from UCEM Principal: Ashley Wheaton.
UCEM Property Awards 2020 – Interview with a past winner: Nathan Jarman
Posted on: 12 October, 2020
We will be hosting the 33rd UCEM Property Awards on Thursday, 15 October. Due to COVID-19, we will not be able to hold this in person but we will be sharing videos and announcements throughout the day on our social media channels to celebrate the achievements of our nominees and winners.
The event will see a sixth person receive our Alumni of the Year Award since it was added to the Property Awards in 2015.
The Alumni of the Year Award goes to a former UCEM student who has made an outstanding contribution in their early career towards creating a better Built Environment.
The fifth recipient of the Award was Nathan Jarman – a Director at Turner & Townsend – and we caught up with him to discuss last year’s Awards and what he has been up to in the 12 months since picking up the trophy.
How did it feel to win last year’s Alumni of the Year Award?
“I was just so proud of winning the Award. It was a fantastic recognition with a very strong level of competition in terms of the peers I was up against. I was incredibly happy. It’s really great to reflect on what I’ve done since I graduated.
“The course I did at UCEM gave me a great foundation to go on and do what I have done and achieved. My one piece of advice for people graduating is: be ambitious.
“Since I graduated, from working at Turner & Townsend I have been fortunate to work on some of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects which will really benefit people in their day-to-day lives. I feel very proud and the Award is great recognition from the university.”
What are your recollections of the event?
“It was a busy event. I was really impressed by the calibre of people who attended. It demonstrated the link which UCEM has with industry and industry leaders.
“There was a great range of people in attendance from recent UCEM alumni to those who have retired and made an impact in their profession. It showed me the depth and breadth that UCEM has in the Built Environment and Infrastructure sector.
“It was a great networking event with leaders from the past, present and those who will go on to lead in future. It demonstrated to me the power of the alumni network. I reflected that I need to become more involved with the Alumni Association and I have now signed up to be a mentor to current UCEM students. The power of what UCEM does in the industry is very impressive.”
Has the award changed anything for you?
“The Award made me reflect that I need to keep pushing on in my career. The recognition makes you reflect on what you have done in the past 10 years and also think about what I want to achieve in the next decade.
“I want to keep making a difference from a people perspective and an industry perspective. If I end up winning another award, I want to reflect on what I have done since I won the Alumni Award. By working at Turner & Townsend I am lucky to have a great exposure to a range of projects and programmes, a fantastic platform to make a real difference across our industry and wider.”
How have the past 12 months been for you?
“I think it’s been a challenge in terms of COVID for the past six months. In the last year, I have moved into a new role and now look after a large team in infrastructure in the South East. I have a team of more than 200 people now. It’s a new role with new challenges which have come with COVID.
“One of my focuses is delivering a great service and looking after our people which involves mental health, keeping people engaged and staying together as a team. We’ve worked together really well and those challenges have been overcome. It’s remarkable how we have all adapted with the likes of Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams becoming integral to our new way of working. My team has adapted really well. This crisis is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change how we operate in the Built Environment sector. It’s about what changes we wish to make in industry to be proud of the next 100 years.”
What are your aspirations in the sector moving forwards?
“The biggest change which will impact our industry is not lobby groups but it’s sectoral change moving forward. My aim is to make the industry more inclusive, more productive, more open, to really be able to articulate what we do in the Built Environment. A bridge isn’t just a structure, it connects people. It’s not just a power station, it’s generating power for peoples homes.
“It’s important to show how working in the Built Environment makes a difference, and how purposeful the sector is. It’s not just broadband, it’s inclusivity. We need to break down those barriers. We now have the opportunity to do this on the back of COVID. It has been awful but rather than accept it’s been bad, we can look at it as an opportunity to make a change in the workplace.”
Thanks for the update, Nathan, and keep up the good work!