One to watch – Aby Wallace MCIOB, Robertson Construction Central East

The site manager for Robertson Construction describes how she came into construction, the importance of the CIOB Student Challenge, and her ambitions.

Why did you choose construction – what else would you have done? 

When I was younger, I wanted to be a child nurse or midwife, however my career path didn’t quite go down this route due to my fear of injections! My backup was architecture – I’ve always wanted to build my own house.

But after applying for an architecture course at university, a family friend encouraged me to study for a HNC in construction and it was at college that I found an interest in site management.

From there, I attended Heriot-Watt University, where I gained a first class degree in BSc in Construction Project Management and was awarded the CIOB Certificate of Excellence, and the CIOB (Scotland) Graduate Award. 

Your path in the industry is moving rapidly – from student challenge winner to MCIOB in a very short time. How has that been for you? 

The CIOB Student Challenge gave me my first real stepping stone. The event was sponsored by Robertson and winners received a work experience placement, which encouraged me to apply for the summer internship.

I worked part time while completing my final year, then on to the graduate programme in 2017 where I was awarded Robertson Young Person of the Year. I progressed to assistant site manager, then site manager, completing my chartership and gaining CIOB status within two years.

What are your ambitions?

At present I want to continue managing site, working on a range of projects and gaining further experience. In the future I’d like to progress to project management.

What do you do in your spare time?

Between planning a wedding and trying to get planning permission for our house, my favourite thing to do is spend time outdoors with our two golden retrievers.

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