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Becky Gill

Project Manager, HBD (Henry Boot Developments)

Class of 2012

Tell us a bit about your time after leaving Sheffield Girls?

When I left school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at University. I decided to follow what I enjoyed and what I was interested in which was English Literature and History of Art. 

I really enjoyed my degree and had no regrets in choosing the course I did but when I finished I didn’t know what career path I wanted to pursue. I had taken modules on historic buildings and architecture during my degree which I really enjoyed and had focused my dissertation around this topic; so I decided to apply for a part time job at the National Trust. 

I did as much volunteering for the National Trust as I could during this time, getting experience in conservation work. I began volunteering with the Building Surveyors at the National Trust and decided to do a Masters in Building Surveying where I found I was interested in modern/urban development as well.

Where did that take you and what does your job involve today? 

I did work experience at HBD while I was finishing my masters in order to get some good experiences to reference when I came to doing job interviews. I was offered a job at HBD when I completed my masters as part of the Project Management Team. 

I now am involved in mostly office and residential projects in city centres across the North and the Midlands. My role is to assist in bidding and purchasing sites which have been identified as potential development opportunities. I will offer advice from a construction perspective on whether a project is feasible and will make the company a profit. I then manage and oversee the planning, design, construction and completion of the building. I will manage the different people involved and make sure the final product meets the company’s requirements.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career? 

The biggest challenge I have faced is being a woman in what is a male dominated industry. I have found it difficult to find people I identify with which is a barrier to feeling that you’re in the right place and your opinion is valued. This is something I have been trying to overcome and I think as the industry continues to attract more and more women, this will help me, as well as others, to feel more established. 

And the most rewarding parts of your job? 

I think the most rewarding part of my job has been forming a community of women within the industry which I have used as a support system when I'm finding things difficult (and realising that I'm not alone!). With support, I’ve been able to enjoy the rewards of the projects I am involved with. It's really fulfilling to see a building design on a piece of paper come into form on site and see the finished product knowing you made it happen.

What advice would you give to your younger self, or sixth form pupils at Sheffield Girls’ today? 

Don’t worry too much about the subjects you choose for A Levels. If it's something you enjoy doing, you will do well and it will take you far. Take any opportunities to get experience and learn new skills. You will learn a lot about yourself and what you are good at and you never know what opportunities it will bring.

A Levels: English Literature, Fine Art, Spanish with French AS Level

University: University of York,  History of Art and Related Literature Combined Course (First Class Honours)

Sheffield Hallam University, MA Building Surveying

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