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Careers in construction - not just for boys!

17 | August | 2017

Think that the construction industry is just for men? That’s certainly not the case in Gilbert-Ash where women work in a wide variety of different roles and play an important part in the success of our company. The following is the first in a series of interviews with female staff members in Gilbert-Ash. We hope this inspires other women to seek out careers in this fast-moving and exciting industry.

PROFILE: Celine Treanor, Bid Manager for Gilbert-Ash

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Q: What does your job involve?

Bid Management is the process of assessing and prioritising strategic business opportunities for the company. A 'bid' is the process through which a company pitches for new business. My role is to manage the bid team, assess opportunities, develop bid strategy and to coordinate all activities and people related to putting together successful proposals to win new projects.

Q: What skills do you need for your job?

I need to be very well organised, have a good ability to plan activities, work under extreme pressure, delegate tasks appropriately and be a strong communicator in order to put together proposals that will convince clients that Gilbert-Ash is the most competent partner for a project. My role involves the coordination and compilation of multiple inputs of information from people in different disciplines and job functions throughout the company. I also need to have excellent writing skills and use these skills to profile the company in its most positive light.

Q:  Did you plan to get involved in the construction industry?

No, I didn’t at first. I graduated with a first class honours in business and computing and started my career in IT ten years ago. At that time, I wasn’t aware of the roles available to me within the construction industry. I never envisaged working in construction and it has opened up lots of opportunities for me to progress and fulfil my potential, using my business degree as a foundation.

Q:  How did you start off?

I began my career working for Amey Plc in their IT department. I was given the opportunity to move to the Venture Capital division of the company and I accepted. Through this role I interacted with a number of local construction companies and was later headhunted to assist in setting up the Northern Ireland bid operation for an Irish construction contractor, as their Bid Manager. From there I moved to another local contractor, Henry Brothers. I started working for Gilbert-Ash in 2013 where I now manage and lead the bid team. I love working at Gilbert-Ash, the work is extremely challenging though very rewarding and I am inspired every single day by the talent, commitment, skill and culture of teamwork that exists in my company.

Q:  What have been the highlights of your career so far?

Working on and winning one of the largest public/private finance initiatives in Northern Ireland to date, the £500m Belfast Schools Partnership. This was a fantastic opportunity to work on such a high profile, high value tender, which would shape the future of education infrastructure in Northern Ireland. I was also very proud to set up a successful Northern Ireland bid operation for two different construction companies.

Q:  What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?  

The ABCD bidding rule. Accept nothing. Be honest. Check everything. Don’t ever assume. Oh and always have a plan B.

Q:  What would you say to any students who are considering a career in construction?

It is an interesting, diverse and exciting sector to work in where you can see the tangible results of your hard work. Construction is not just about the finished product. There is a complex process that goes before this to make the construction of new buildings possible. It therefore offers a wide range of career possibilities using lots of different skills.

Q:  Tell us something surprising about yourself...

I used to be a radio DJ! When I was at school I was a DJ on my parent’s radio station at the weekends. It was called K.L.A.S Radio on 828MW. We played mainly country music. I helped my dad to build the radio transmission towers and have climbed them when no-one was looking! We currently lease the recording studio and equipment, and it now operates on 549MW.