Interview with Building Services Student - Women in Building Services (NI)

Interview with Building Services Student - Women in Construction (NI)

 18th Feb 2019

Building services student discusses women in Construction


My name is Sarah McGimpsey, I’m a Construction and Property Recruiter at Corvus Recruitment. I’ve developed an interview blog series with Women in a variety of roles in the Construction industry. This series aims to inspire the next generation and increase the number of women choosing a career in all sectors of the Construction industry.


The interviews I’ve conducted will provide an overview of current experiences of women in the industry and their motivations for choosing the Construction industry. This interview is with Building Services Engineering Student, Jade McGee. Learn how Jade chose Building Service Engineering as a career path and her experiences as a student.


Welcome to Jade McGee who is a final year student at Ulster University doing Architectural engineering.


Sarah: What attracted you to a career in building services engineering?

Jade: “I came to building services a bit later as I went back into education when I was 24. I was chatting with a lovely lady, Vanessa Cobane, inside South West College Dungannon. Because I love maths and science, she encouraged me to consider Building Services and Renewable Energy. A two-year fast course brought me into Ulster University to do Architectural Engineering.”


Sarah: “And, how are you finding it?”

Jade: “I love it.”


Sarah: “What does the Architectural Engineering course entail?”

Jade: “Well Architectural Engineering is a lot of Building Services, Energy Management, Sustainability and a large focus on Renewable Energy. We have absolutely fantastic lecturers, who actually do their own research on different projects and their ingenious expertise is how the course runs so well.

Architectural Engineering is something different, the renewable energy side actually gives you insight to what is happening in terms of a global vision of renewable energy and sustainability throughout the construction industry. It is real life. You get to work in labs conducting experiments which is always a plus.”


Sarah: “A bit of everything then”

Jade: “It’s very good.”


Sarah: “You undertook as part of your degree, a placement year. How do you find that helped you?”

Jade: “I took my placement year with Farrans. It benefited me greatly, as I got into project management. I got to travel as well as I was involved in two extremely good projects in London. I learnt quite a lot. I’m sure a lot of people were sick of me asking questions, but I couldn’t thank them enough.

It benefited me as a person, it gave me experience, it improved my communication skills and it benefited me as a student. Having that insight and experience of what construction companies provide and expect. It gave me a magnificent step up coming into final year.”


Sarah: “Do you have a clear idea of what you want to do when you finish your course?”

Jade: “I haven’t decided fully on what I want to do, but I do enjoy management, project management and on-site experience. Hopefully something focused around that.”


Sarah: “Project management, contracts management, something like that?”

Jade: “Yes, something along those lines maybe working for a subcontractor, something more hands on, within mechanical electrical services and maybe facilities management.”


Sarah: “What do you think, if anything, should be done to encourage more women and girls into building services engineering?”

Jade: “I have to steal a quote out of sporting advertisements at the moment ‘can’t see it, can’t be it.’ Contractors, subcontractors and other organisations need to promote their female employees in the industry and show how they are excelling. In this male dominated industry, it would be encouraging to see females in various roles doing well.”


Sarah: “Is there anything you would say to young females today who want to get into Building Services Engineering?”

Jade: “Building Services Engineering makes everything work within a building. Like any industry there are challenges and I would say to young girls - you’re the solution - you make it work. If you want to do that, you will excel.”


By sharing more female engineer’s stories, I hope to increase the number of girls and women who will consider a career in the Building Services Industry. Read my first interview in the WIBSE blog series with female Electrician, Ciara Rooney, from Parr Group here.


If you’d like to share your story for my next blog series or you’re in the market for a new job, please get in touch.


028 9091


More interviews in the Women in Construction series-

Quantity Surveyor, Clare Cairns - Read here

Electrician, Ciara Rooney - Read here

Mechanical Estimator, Nicole Wharry Read here

Commercial Co-ordinator, Ellen McGuinness - Read here




Keep up to date with Women in Construction series on Facebook



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