Barbara Akinkunmi

Do your research! Look into what it’s all about, because there’s a pre-conception of what the construction Industry involves. There are so many roles available for you, so look into the options and routes you could pursue. Not everyone will be a bricklayer or ground worker.

Job Title: Technical Design Graduate

Studied: BA Architecture

Employer: Lovell Partnerships Ltd

Job: Graduate Management

About my job

What does your department do?

Currently I work within the Development department. This department coordinates the work of others to ensure that the programme, budget, homes being built etc. are delivered on time and improved.

We oversee and coordinate the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end! This involves us work closely together with the client, our internal departments and several consultants and sub-contractors.

What might a typical day involve?

My days within Development Management as of recently lean towards the pre-construction side and are never the same, but my tasks revolve around the following:

  • Attending meeting such as Design Team Meetings, Progress Review Meetings, Planning Application Meetings.
  • Shadowing the Project Manager in their everyday tasks such as review of risk registers, Programmes, Consultant Appointing and Development Expenses (all the costs throughout the design process e.g. surveys, Architectural design & Structural design).
  • Attending workshops chaired by the lead designer on specific design topics
  • Drafting Reports
  • Providing written comments on sales reports, Design matrix, risk registers
  • Site sifting with my Development Manager - reviewing potential sites we can use for new projects

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the flexibility! Being on the Graduate Scheme has given me the opportunity to experience most sides of the business. I’ve been able to work and learn about Key stages within the Construction process such as Bidding, Tendering, Programming, Design, Planning, Construction phasing, Operations Management on Sites, Customer Service and the list goes on! Being exposed to these areas has broadened my understanding significantly and I’m still learning!

Why did you choose this career?

I chose this career because I have a genuine passion for Property & Social Housing Development, alongside Community Regeneration. I’ve always been drawn to and interested in Architecture & Interior Design from a young age. I’ve loved home and building renovations and have always exposed myself to Projects regarding this online and within London. After completing my BA degree in Architecture, I chose to go down the Construction/Project Management route, as I knew it would expose me to much more of the planning, design, and construction of a project. Hence why I entered the Industry though Lovell’s Graduate Scheme in 2018, which I am currently still on.

What was your route into the industry, what qualifications did you take?

My route started in College, where I studied Design Technology, Fine Art, Mathematics. I then went to University and gained a BA degree in Architecture. After completing my 3 years, I worked within a Social Housing Architecture Firm for 3 months as an Architecture Assistant/Research Associate. Following this, I joined Lovell’s Graduate Scheme as a Technical Design Graduate.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?

Research! Look into what it’s all about, because there’s a pre-conception of what the Construction Industry involves. There are also many roles available for you within the Industry, so look into the options and routes you could pursue! Not everyone will be a bricklayer or groundworker.

The opportunity to learn and work is the greatest thing and an opportunity not to miss! Aim to get work experience, whether that be a summer placement, a 3week-6week, a gap year placement or even a graduate scheme! It’s always best to witness and engage in the industry outside of the education system.

Make use of industry tailored websites, journals and feeds such as AJ Journal, Construction News, Dezeen keep yourself well informed and educated about the Industry.

Questions & Answers

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy singing as part of my Church Choir and drawing Portraits outside work. I also enjoy Community Engagement work and outreaches I’m involved in, especially those tailored around helping & Inspiring Young People!