After completing a Postgraduate Diploma at the University of Gloucestershire I joined Atkins, Bristol as an Assistant Landscape Architect in July 2014. Initially work encompassed assisting on projects from bespoke market place elements through educational campuses to large scale infrastructure projects. An opportunity then arose to work in another part of the business as an Assistant Project Manager for a major project along with landscape work. This was a great opportunity to broaden my experience of real, live, multidisciplinary project delivery.
Day to day project management involves ensuring the project is running as set out in the bid, and that deliverables are met when promised. Tracking of documentation, correspondences, and information received is vital to ensuring smooth running of projects, keeping track of issues, and agreed resolutions to issues, as the project progresses. Consequently fees for changes, including time and labour costs, are calculated and agreed upon continually through the project. Effective communication and cooperation with client and stakeholders is vital for smooth running of a project, minimising delays, abortive works and costs, whilst ensuring design quality and consultancy service standards are maintained.
When commencing work at Atkins I was keen to experience the interdisciplinary working of a large consultancy. Whilst I gained some experience of this in my landscape work, Project Management has given me great experience of the larger scale project delivery, from the demands laid on the individual disciplines to the work involved in their coordination. Furthermore, working with the different disciplines allowed me to integrate well with the wider Atkins working community and I have developed enormously from this role.
Project management was not something I expected to be doing at Atkins and just shows the opportunities that arise from a landscape architects degree are wide ranging and may be unexpected.
Assistant Landscape Architect and Assistant Project Manager, Atkins, Bristol.