Interview with Building Services Ellen McGuinness, Commercial Coordinator | WICNI
23rd May 2019
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 Commercial Coordinator Ellen McGuinness. Learn how Ellen got into a career in Building Services and her advice to other women considering this industry.
Interview with Ellen McGuinness, Commercial Coordinator in Harvey Group
What is your current role?
My current role is Commercial Coordinator for Harvey Group PLC. I am responsible for Marketing and publications along with updating the website and social media accounts accordingly.
I am also responsible for logging, filing and printing all the tender information to ensure the estimators have as much time as possible to prepare their tender.
What attracted you to choose a career in Building Services Engineering?
I had worked in the retail industry since I was 18 and it came to a point where I wanted to get out of the industry so I could have set hours each week. I had seen a job advertised for FLYNN for a Client Services Agent and jumped at the chance to apply.
During my time with FLYNN, I worked with several of our clients daily as a CSA, I then moved to the finance department and realised that I really enjoyed working in this industry. In started working with Harvey Group in June 2018, this role is more suited to me and allows me to utilise my degree doing a job I love in the industry I want to be in – This is something I never thought was possible.
Can you tell us about your career journey?
I started working in the hospitality industry when I was 16, I quickly realised that it wasn’t for me. From this, I moved on to the retail industry and it was used to earn some pocket money – it was never something I saw myself doing as a career. I left the retail industry in 2016 when I took up my role with FLYNN, I took every opportunity I was offered and gained as much experience as possible in any department when I was with FLYNN as I felt comfortable in this industry and knew this is where I wanted my career to be.
In mid-2018 a colleague showed me the advertisement for my current role on Indeed and I immediately applied, a few weeks later I was asked to attend an interview and was offered the job shortly after.
I have been with Harvey Group PLC for 10 months and have already gained several new skills. I see myself improving and learning each day and hope to follow in my predecessors’ footsteps and become a Mechanical Estimator soon.
What do you enjoy about working in Building Services?
The thing I enjoy the most about this industry is that every day is a school day – we are continually learning and improving ourselves to ensure we deliver the best of our ability for our clients. In Harvey Group, we are given the opportunity to get an insight into other departments and this is something I enjoy – there is so much that goes on under this roof and sometimes we get wrapped up in our own departments and forget this.
What do you think could be done to encourage more women into Building Services or Engineering in general?
I think in the past it has been a predominately male industry and women often feel like they don’t have a place here. It’s important to showcase the women in this industry and ensure that young girls coming up through school know that this is always an option – whether you go through university or come straight from school, women will be accepted in this industry.
What changes have you noticed or would like to see within the industry?
In this industry, technology plays a huge part – through my previous role and this one I have seen the changes that technology has made for the better and this allows all of us to continue to do our job effectively and more efficiently.
Throughout the rest of my career, I hope to see a lot more women employed within this industry and I am excited to see what the future holds for the Building Services sector.
What would you say to young females today thinking of a career in Building Services?
We see more and more articles about “first woman appointed as director” etc and this is something we should all strive towards – women have just as much a place in this industry as men do. As a collective, we need to get the idea that the Building Services Industry is for men out of our heads and the only way to do this is for more women pursue their careers in it.
If you’d like to share your story for my next blog, you’re in the market for a new job or need help with a vacancy, please get in touch. 028 9091 2874 | firstname.lastname@example.org
More interviews in the Women in Construction series-
Ulster University Building Services Student, Jade McGee - Read here
Electrician, Ciara Rooney - Read here
Quantity Surveyor, Claire Cairns - Read here
Mechanical Estimator, Nicole Wharry - Read here