On International Women's Day we catch up with PlanBEE graduate Jess Morgan to talk about her journey into the construction industry.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself
A: Hi I’m Jess, a trainee Quantity Surveyor with Gleeds. I joined Gleeds after graduating from the PlanBEE Apprenticeship in 2020.
Q: What attracted you to a PlanBEE Apprenticeship?
A: I studied Maths, Geography and Art at A Level – one of the modules I studied in Art focussed on the Built Environment, which inspired me to look at Architecture as a career. I also love to travel and had always been fascinated by the different buildings and structures I’ve seen on my travels. The PlanBEE Apprenticeship seemed like a great opportunity as it gave me an introduction to all aspects of the construction process. I’m a very hand’s on person too, so the chance to learn through work really appealed.
Q: How did you find your PlanBEE experience?
A: I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the PlanBEE Apprenticeship. Being able to experience all aspects of construction actually highlighted that pursuing a career in Quantity Surveying suited me better than my original ambition of becoming an Architect. I really love the combination of office and on site work. Being on site regularly brings a project to life for me: it’s great to see the progression of the development and understand the challenges faced on site.
Q: How do you find it as a woman in a traditionally male dominated environment?
A: I can honestly say that, although I work in an industry predominately made up of men, the negative stereotype surrounding construction sites and women doesn’t reflect my own personal experience. Everyone I’ve come into contact with – colleagues, contractors and suppliers have been so supportive. My mentor at Gleeds, Holly, is also my inspiration. She’s a great role model and has introduced me to a number of support networks, some of which are particularly geared towards women in construction. I'm now involved with Generation for Change, a group of young professionals who work closely with Constructing Excellence North East, and I attend a variety of National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) events.
Q: What’s next for you Jess?
A: I’m now studying a Quantity Surveying Degree Apprenticeship through Gleeds. Once I’m fully qualified my ambition is to be running my own projects and ultimately to achieve Chartered status.
Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in construction?
A: I’d certainly encourage them to explore the PlanBEE Apprenticeship programme. It’s a great foundation for a career in construction giving the opportunity to explore the different disciplines and get a feel for what suits you best. The companies involved in PlanBEE are all industry leaders and you really couldn’t have a better grounding.
Applications for PlanBEE 2022 are now open. Click here to start your application.Wed Feb 28 2024