#WomenExcel: Taking advantage of AECOM opportunities
I believe that you only live once, so make the best of everything that you do! In 2004, I started working at AECOM’s legacy Davis Langdon company as a first-year student doing vocational work to increase my knowledge base. After completing my three-year Bachelor of Science degree in property development, I was privileged to receive financial assistance via a bursary from the company to complete my honours in quantity surveying on a full-time basis. That year, I was given the International Golden Key award at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, which is given and limited to the top 15 percent of degree students from all disciplines who have completed at least one year of study.
At work, I appreciated the confidence that my management team had put in me and was determined and motivated to work hard and move up the corporate ladder. My role model, who is also my mentor and line manager, Dean Narainsamy taught me that you live your life by setting goals with realistic dates and achieving them before you move on to the next one. Today, I thank him for educating me and providing me with the tools I needed to have the successful career that I have at AECOM today. In October 2012, I was promoted to an associate quantity surveyor.
Throughout my tenure here, I have taken up many opportunities. To name a few, I managed and led a team with another associate over a full-time, four-month secondment in Qatar from November 2012 to February 2013. I definitely learnt a lot from the international experience, and we were privileged to receive overall positive feedback from Jason Kroll, vice president and regional director, Qatar, and Robert Flood, commercial manager, Qatar.
AECOM has a strong focus on providing opportunities for young professionals to accelerate their learning for the benefit of their careers. I was given the opportunity to attend the Personal and Interpersonal Management Skills section of the Management Development Programme in 2014, as well as the 2013 Property Development Programme held by the South African Property Owner’s Association (SAPOA) in collaboration with the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. This intensive, two-week course is South Africa’s premier management programme on property finance, valuation, property law, negotiation, investment, development, marketing and management. The programme is of the highest quality and presented by experts in the industry. Year on year, it attracts outstanding participants in the industry and supports the development of professionals, not only in Southern Africa, but internationally as well. The group that I was part of was placed first for providing the best design, feasibility study and construction solution for a given site in Cape Town.
I am very proud to be a part of such a colossal, well-known organization like AECOM and to have been given so many opportunities. Not only does it allow me to excel and move up the corporate ladder, but it helps me grow in my outlook on life, and be able to spread my wings, travel the world and see how things are done elsewhere within AECOM.
Currently, as an associate at the Sandton office in South Africa, I am managing a team of six. My team looks up to me from both a mentoring and leadership perspective. I’m a very motivated individual and a natural encourager; I enjoy learning what motivates others, encouraging them, and helping them perform at their highest levels. My success in my current role is an indicator of my commitment to excellence and my understanding of what it takes to be successful.
I have embraced the opportunities that AECOM has given me to enhance my expertise and simultaneously achieve the company’s longer term goals and objectives, and I will certainly continue to add value to the organization.
Have any questions about my experiences at AECOM? Comment below! Also, be sure to use the #WomenExcel hashtag when you share this post on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
Shevira Bissessor is an associate in AECOM’s project, cost, consultancy business in Africa. She is a hard-working, career-driven women who loves the outdoors, socializing, travelling and watching movies. She is part of the Women’s Property Network Gauteng Committee, and hopes to sit on the SAPOA Committee in the near future. The most important people in her life are her parents, who have been her inspiration to become the person that she is today and to achieve what she has thus far.
LinkedIn: Shevira Bissessor