"I literally learn something new every day. The Project Management role gives me the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of projects and working with many stakeholders and organisations, which makes the job very exciting!"
Who is a Project Manager?
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What made you want to become a Project Manager within the Construction Industry?
I’ve always had an interest in engineering as it runs in my family, and I wanted to seek the same opportunities to travel and expand my knowledge. This is how I developed a passion for the STEM subjects, which was followed by an engineering degree and then a job in the Construction Industry.
What route did you take to becoming a Project Manager?
I was very passionate about engineering hence why I undertook my undergraduate (BEng) degree in Civil Engineering, followed by a Masters (MSc) degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Portsmouth. During my Masters degree, I started work as a Graduate Highways Engineer at Paul Basham Associates, followed by a Highways Engineer role within the Regeneration team at Portsmouth City Council. I was then further promoted to Senior Project Manager (Technical).
I’ve been working at Portsmouth City Council for nearly two and a half years and have been in my role at the port for just over a year! Since then, I have progressed to managing multi million pound projects which have been an important investment for the city.
How does your work affect people’s lives and the world around us?
My current role as Project/Programme Manager mainly involves the management of the Infrastructure schemes, which in turn will support the growth and regeneration of the local surrounding Portsmouth area. This multi million pound development project I'm working on will provide job opportunities for the local community and will positively enhance the infrastructure and transport of the city.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My role revolves around ensuring that the design and construction works are following the agreed programme, are within project budget and that risks are appropriately managed and tracked. I direct and monitor staff in the completion of work packages, manage external consultants, and manage project staff to ensure targets are achieved.
On other days, I represent the company at stakeholder engagement events, assisting and carrying out consultations on scheme proposals and advising the members as necessary.
What are some challenges you personally face at work?
The main challenge is the diversity that this industry provides. Also, every day is different and challenging, which means Ii get to learn something new every day.
Managing civil engineering projects is a very challenging task with big responsibilities, but at the same time it is very rewarding to see the infrastructure change daily, knowing that you have had an input on it.
"I have managed to develop and improve the main skills of a robust Project Manager which includes persistency, high organization, ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines, managing people with different backgrounds, marine management, communication and negotiation skills."
On top of my day job, I sit on the South Branch Graduate, Students and Apprentices Committee, as well as being a mentor for the Employer Mentoring Programme run by the University of Portsmouth. Through being involved with the programme, I want to support more students hopefully through site and workplace visits to Portsmouth International Port. These were vital to me during my studies, so I want to be able to provide the same opportunities and help introduce students to the industry of construction.
Be persistent in your passion and what you want to do. Take what you have a passion for and use it to drive your career and interests”
I’m Anisa Koci and I've been working within the Industry for 7-8 years. I’m currently working as a Port Masterplan Projects Manager (Engineering) at Portsmouth International Port (Portsmouth City Council).
Portsmouth International Port is a major UK port, responsible for handling millions of customers and vital cargo across the globe and is the UK’s most successful council-owned port. We are already considered to be a major UK port, and our continued commercial success means that we contributed £7.8m to Portsmouth City Council’s budget.
Because of the nature of my job and the male environment, people are usually amazed at a woman undertaking such a challenging and complex role! I have always been amongst very few women throughout my career. At university, I was one of only a few women on my course, and this still applies to my job today. It is typically a very male dominated industry, which can bring some challenges, as I sometimes feel like I have to prove myself and act more ‘robust' when I first walk into a room full of male workers that I have to lead/manage throughout the day.
What advice would you give a young woman thinking about a career in your role?
Be persistent in your passion and what you want to do. Take what you have a passion for and use it to drive your career and interests. Construction is challenging but very rewarding, and seeing your design go from initial drawings and ideas to a completed build is what makes everything worth it. Particularly seeing women in these types of roles sets a great example to the younger generation and gives you the confidence to stand out and be a successful role model.